Hubballi: Though North Karnataka has received good rainfall before and after the start of the current monsoon, the chance of a drought has become a cause of worry for farmers of several districts in the region.
Now these farmers are anxiously waiting for the proposed loan waiver scheme in the belief that the state government will come to their rescue
following scanty rainfall during the last three weeks. Meanwhile, the suicides of farmers are continued unabated in the region despite the promise of loan waiver by the government.
The farmers have completed sowing operations in more than 60 per cent of agricultural land in the region after the early monsoon brought cheer to them. They are waiting for rain after investing thousands of rupees in purchase of
fertilizer as the seeds have already sprouted. The farmers in Gadag will be worst affected if there is no rain in the next one week as the drought prone district has suffered a 20 per cent deficit in rainfall in June despite good showers across the state. Officials claim that the green gram crop which is grown in a large chunk of 75 hectares of farm land will dry up if there are no rains in the next one week.
The farmers in Hungund and Badami in Bagalkot district will suffer severe losses as these taluks comprise rain-fed farm land though three rivers flow through the district. The officials in Haveri district maintain that the moisture in the soil will protect the crop only for a few days. They claim that 12 farmers have committed suicide in Haveri district and four farmers ended their lives in Gadag alone during the last three months.
“A large number of farmers have completed sowing operations after good rainfall at the start of the monsoon. But the rains have failed in the last three weeks. Our district is badly in need of rain for the next few days, failing which the farmers will face a critical situation as they have already faced drought in the last two years”, Gadag agriculture department joint director C.B. Balareddy said.
Meanwhile, various religious practices have gained momentum to appease the rain god in North Karnataka region. The incidents of marriage of frogs, dolls, animals and other rituals are on the rise. Farmers have also resorted to superstitious acts including mock child marriage ceremonies to appease the gods.
“The groundnut, maize, soybean and onion crop in my eight acres of land is getting dried up due to failure of the rains. I have already invested Rs 6,000 per acre and also need to spend more on labour charges. I am finding it difficult to mitigate the loss caused due to drought in the last two years. I am hopeful that the waiver of the loan will bring relief to my family”, said Nagaraj Baseganni, a farmer of Agadi village in Haveri taluk.