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Extensive loss of groundnut crop in Chitradurga

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Affected groundnut crop in Chitradurga district.
Affected groundnut crop in Chitradurga district.

Firoz Rozindar

Chitradurga: The extensive loss of groundnut crop has shattered the dreams of groundnut farmers of Chitradurga district.

The farmers, who, a few months ago, were expecting a bumper crop have lost hopes of even recovering the cost of sowing.

Untimely and inadequate rainfall has played havoc on the groundnut, which is the major crop of the district.

According to a preliminary assessment by the Agriculture Department, the district has lost nearly 80 per cent of the crop.

The loss is estimated at around Rs. 222 crore.

Of the 3.58 lakh hectares of cultivable land in Chitradurga, the share of groundnut crop is around 1.5 lakh hectares.

The official figures say that groundnut was sown in 1,39,632 hectares of land. The crop has been destroyed in 1,35,885 hectares.

The reasons for this heavy loss are believed to be caused by insufficient rain during flowering, non-removal of weed during vegetative period owing to unavailability of labour, and poor whether conditions.

Challakere

Of the six taluks, Challakere has the largest number of groundnut growers.

Sowing was taken up in 81,490 hectares of land in the taluk, followed by 26,880 hectares in Hiriyur.

Molakalmur with groundnut in 22,772 hectares comes third.

The district is expected to lose around 90,389 tonnes of groundnut this year.

The approximate loss incurred by Challakere is estimated at Rs. 144.46 crore. Molakalmur has suffered a crop loss of Rs. 37.72 crore.

The officials said that the average yield of groundnut is 780 kg a hectare in the district. However, due to crop loss, this year the yield may not be more than 160 kg a hectare.

Last year, the district had an average yield of over 800 kg a hectare, while some taluks, including Challakere, reaped an average yield of over 900 kg a hectare, the officials added.

The department has sent a report on the loss to the Government for announcing relief package to farmers, the officials said.

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