Drought is casting its shadow on Chamarajanagar, classified as the most backward district in the State by the D.M. Nanjundappa Committee on Redressal of Regional Imbalance.
Major crops including jowar, horse gram and sunflower, are withering owing to lack of rainfall in June. Growers are also worried by the steep fall in prices.
Admitting the failure of crops due to poor rainfall, Joint Director of Agriculture Shivamallu said that crop sown in 65 per cent of the 41,760 hectares was likely to be affected.
Deputy Commissioner Chakravarthi Mohan had directed the Revenue and Agriculture departments to conduct a joint survey on the extent of crop damage and submit a report by August 28, he said.
Meanwhile, piqued by what they see as the apathy of the Government in fulfilling promises made during a recent padayatra by farmers to Vidhana Soudha, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene have resolved to launch a protest in the first week of September.
Both the groups have sent a notice to the Government, demanding that the authorities address their grievances. Their demands include supplying drinking water from the Kabini reservoir, free power supply to farmers, and declaring all taluks in the district as drought-hit, , .
Most importantly, they are seeking the purchase of coconut from the revolving fund under the support price policy. Speaking to The Hindu, district president of the KRRS Mahesh Prabhu said coconut growers were facing problems because of the apathy of the district administration in procuring coconut.
“Although the Government has released Rs. 1 crore to the district administration for procuring coconut, the authorities are not cooperating,” he alleged.
However, sources in the district administration said the Government had released only Rs. 10 lakh in this regard, and had permitted them to procure one tonne of coconut from each grower. “The district administration has no technical facility to dry coconuts procured to copra,” said a senior official in the district administration.
But, Mr. Prabhu pointed out that growers harvested over 50,000 tonnes in 25,000 hectares. Procuring a tonne from each grower would not solve their problems.