Deficit rains hit Kharif crop output in Karnataka

Bengaluru, Oct 25 (IANS) Deficit monsoon rain has affected Kharif production in 25 of the 30 districts across Karnataka, resulting in an estimated crop loss worth Rs 11,000 crore in this fiscal (2016-17), said an official on Tuesday.

“Of the 71.67-lakh hectares of farm lands where sowing was completed in June-July, 30.82-lakh hectares were affected due to deficit rains in August and September in 25 districts across the state,” said Agriculture Director B.Y. Srinivas.

The state government has declared 110 taluks (local bodies) in 25 districts as drought-hit due to below normal and deficit rainfall and affected cropping on 25.54-lakh hectares.

“Barring in northern and coastal districts, rainfall was erratic and scattered in the state’s central and southern districts resulting in prolonged dry conditions during the second half of the monsoon season,” lamented Srinivas.

Though normal rains in Kalaburgi district helped in harvesting a bumper crop, especially pulses (tur dal), heavy rains in mid-September in Bidar district damaged soyabean crop in several hectares of farm lands.

In contrast, of the 64-lakh hectares of agriculture lands where seeds for various crops were sown last fiscal (2015-16), 32.72-lakh hectares were affected due to deficit rains and drought situation.

“Crop loss in 28.88-lakh hectares was estimated at Rs 14,471 crore last fiscal. Though the state government sought Rs.2,089 crore as compensation from the central government, Rs 1,540 crore was received for disbursement to the affected farmers,” recalled Srinivas.

In a related development, state Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda has directed the revenue and agriculture officials to conduct a joint survey on crop loss for seeking compensation from the central government.

“We have decided to advise farmers to go for millets than water-intensive crops like sugarcane and paddy due to deficit rains and drought situation,” said Gowda.

The state government has declared a support price of Rs 1,600 for ragi and jowar to encourage farmers to opt for millets.

–IANS

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