Drought of 2018 in Siruguppa left many farmers devastated.
20th April, 2019
Bengaluru: Siruguppa is a taluk situated in Bellary district of Karnataka. It has lush green fields of paddy, which are their principal crops. While going across the taluk, you will find a lot of paddy fields. Due to this reason; it is also called “Land of Paddy”. But in 2018, 40% of Paddy crops either died or suffered from stunted growth due to the scarcity of water due to low rainfall.
Siriguppa Taluk has faced water crisis, as the Annual rainfall for the entire year was 84 mm. The average rainfall in Siruguppa previously was nearly 645 mm. Thus, many farmers lost their crops and faced stunted growth. Siruguppa taluk has thus been declared drought struck region. But no compensation has been paid to these farmers.
Fig.1 Kharif had a major loss of food crops
As per National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) and State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF) farmers should get compensation for drought. For agriculture crops the minimum compensation should be Rs. 6,800 per hectare in rain fed land and Rs. 13, 500 per hectare in irrigated land. The above compensation is given when the crop loss is nearly 33% of the sown crops. But many farmers claim that no compensation has been given by the government to the farmers. This has impacted many menial farmers, who now do not have enough money to sow seeds for the next season. Total land for cultivation in Siruguppa is 8048 hectare, out of which 5738 hectare is rain fed and rest approximately 3000 hectare is irrigated land. Since, most of the cultivation depends on rain fed area and Siruguppa has mostly paddy field which requires nearly 450 mm of water for cultivation. Thus, the farmers in Siruguppa are suffering from crop losses to an extent that they are not having money to sow for next seed sowing season, represented in figure 1 and 2.
During Kharif season in 2018, 24391.2 acres of 59878 acres sown land was destroyed. While, during Rabi season crop loss was 20618 hectares of 20618 hectrares sown land. While, as per NDMS data the total crops loss in Siruguppa was more than 83 %. Thus, it is a severely drought hit taluk (Figure 3). This left many farmers devastated.
Siruguppa is a bed of two rivers, Tugabhandra and Vedavatti. But due to building of dams in the upper region of river, the water in Siruguppa is drying up. This year as the rain water was also not sufficient, hence, groundwater was not able to recharge. This has impacted Siruguppa especially for Kharif crops. Now many farmers require government to assist them, so that they can get money to grow crops in next season. While, NDRF is suppose to release funds for drought hit region, yet many farmers claim that they have not received any fund from the government, and are still waiting to receive some help from the Government.
India is a land of farmers, where a major share of economy depends on agriculture; the climate change is impacting severely. Not just low rain fall but decreasing water in river is also one major reason for drought and low yield of crop. Thus, it becomes essential to bring a proper infrastructure to increase our crops productivity. Government should make sure that the relief is given to needy immediately so that they might not get severely impacted by the drought.