Members interact with farmers in Kalghatagi and Hubli taluks

The inter-ministerial team appointed by the Union Government to assess the drought situation in Karnataka visited villages in Kalghatagi and Hubli taluks here on Tuesday.

The team members, consisting of Kal Singh, director, Department of Animal Husbandry and Vijay Kumar Bathia, deputy adviser, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, visited Ganjgatti, Bagadageri and Beeravalli villages in Kalghatagi taluk and Shiraguppi in Hubli taluk.

The team was accompanied by Deputy Commissioner Sameer Shukla, zilla panchayat chief executive officer (CEO) P.A. Meghannavar and other officials. They interacted with farmers and took stock of the situation.

Briefed

The team collected information about water scarcity, crop loss, and the incidence of foot-and-mouth disease. The team members were also briefed about the depletion of underground water, which could badly affect the supply of water in coming days. The team found the tank that supplies water to Ganjigatti village dry.

Farmers told the team that soya bean crop had got damaged during the flowering stage, forcing farmers to remove the crop and stock it as fodder.

Farmers have cultivated maize taking advantage of unexpected rains in September-October, but they are apprehensive about the yield.

In nearby Gollanakere village, the Central team was informed that the village was suffering from severe drought for the last two years and the supply of drinking water was a problem. Basavaraj Meti, farmer from Beeravalli, said villagers had suffered up to 90 per cent loss of paddy crop.

Distress sales

He told the team that farmers who were unable to feed their cattle were resorting to distress sales to slaughter houses. As many as 56 head of cattle had died due to foot-and-mouth disease, they said.

At Shiraguppi, farmers Shivanna Hubballi and Shekanna Badiger said they suffered huge losses in onion and chilli crops.

Officials of the Horticulture Department informed said the area under chilli cultivation had come down by 25 per cent this year. Last year the area under chilly cultivation was 48,000 acres in Dharwad district.

Earlier, the central team held a meeting with officers of various departments at the Deputy Commissioner’s office.

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