Karnataka

Borewell pooling in times of drought

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Farmers in parts of Kabini command area share water to save paddy crop

Farmers with borewells in their fields have come to the rescue of fellow farmers in some parts of Kabini command area in Mysuru district by supplying water to save their standing paddy crop.

Water supply from Kabini dam had been stopped owing to poor storage and was being saved for drinking purpose. The initiative of sourcing borewell water to save paddy crop had been taken up in some villages of Nanjangud and T. Narsipur taluks.

The farmers claim around 20 percent of paddy crop could be saved this way.

“In many places, paddy had been planted late and it needed water at this stage without which it would wither. As there is no sign of water release from the dam, many farmers have taken up this step to save their crop,”said Kurubur Shanthkumar, president of Kabini Raitha Hitarakshana Samiti and State Sugarcane Growers’ Association.

Farmers are pumping water using tractors fitted with diesel generators. This measure can be carried out only in adjoining paddy fields as some farmers had drilled borewells in the past following water crisis.

Equipment

The diesel generator-equipped tractors with pumping equipments are being hired by farmers for Rs. 400 an hour owing to power problem. On an average, each farmer was spending around Rs. 4,000 an acre to pump water from borewells using the retrofit tractors, he claimed. Mr. Shanthkumar said owing to drought, fodder was not sufficiently available and moreover farmers needed to store fodder for the next few months. Though farmers were unsure of paddy yield owing to water scarcity, they hope to get fodder from the crop to save their livestock, he said.

Paddy grown in an acre can yield up to four tonnes of fodder. Paddy had been grown in around one lakh hectares in the district.

Mr Shanthkumar claimed that the paddy grown in the district was worth Rs. 400 crore with an average yield of 20 lakh quintals. But the yield would come down drastically this year, putting farmers at risk.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 10:56:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/Borewell-pooling-in-times-of-drought/article16756361.ece

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