Farmers of Karumanchi swim across Musi river to carry on farming

Farming in India, as economists put it is a gamble with monsoon.

It is riskier preposition for the farmers of this remote village in Tangutur mandal as they swim across Musi river to carry on farming on the other side at a time when their counterparts elsewhere prefer to quit farming altogether or end up committing suicide unable to cope with farming in the wake of mounting losses.

Farmers, with never-say-die, spirit grow among other crops, paddy, Mango, sweet lime and tobacco taking in their own stride the ever-increasing cost of farm inputs and fluctuating fortunes while marketing their produce, explains 70-year-old village sarpanch M. Peramma, who has been running from pillar to post in vain to get sanctioned a low-level causeway.

Recounting the farmers’ tale of woes, M. Koteswara Rao member of the first ward in the gram panchayat, told The Hindu ‘more than cultivation of crops, it is lack of logistics that is pushing them into big trouble.’

‘We bring farm produce across the river using lorry tyre tubes as we cannot afford to take the circuitous route to their village via Tangutur and Surareddypalem,’ says a farmer R.Punnaiah.

Farm workers in the village preferred to seek wage employment thanks to the MGNREGS or go for construction work in Ongole instead of working in fields leaving the farmers to fend for themselves, explains another farmer A.Narasamma.

''It is very difficult to judge the depth and pits particularly during the rainy season due to indiscriminate sand mining by sand mafias'', says Ch.Venkatram Reddy, who owns 10 acres of land on the other side of the river.

Sk. Basha, who owns five acres of land, says we have been pressing for a low-level causeway to public representatives time and again.

‘The contestants' promise has turned out to be mere letters written on water,’ adds yet another farmer Sk. Kamansa summing up the villagers long wait for a low-level causeway to take their tractors and bullock carts across the river without hassles.