The Malnad region received deficient rainfall after the onset of the southwest monsoon, leaving the farming community worried. Farmers who already began the cultivation, hoping for good rains, are worried about the crop, while those yet to sow seeds are still waiting for the right time.
Against a normal of 539 mm of rainfall, the region, consisting of four districts, received only 327 mm between June 1 and July 9, registering a deficit of 39%. After the first two weeks in June, many places in this region did not receive heavy rains at all. Shivammoga district registered rainfall of 438.9 mm against the normal 696.4 mm. Chikkamagaluru received 294.7 mm against the normal of 493.4 mm. In Hassan, the rainfall recorded was 157.6 mm against the normal of 238 mm.
H.R. Basavarajappa, a farmer and leader of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, said farmers had been facing difficulty due to a dip in rainfall. “The cultivation has been affected due to erratic rainfall. There was a gap of 20 days between rainy days. Farmers cultivating maize are losing hope of good yield.”
Similarly, in plantation areas, the growers are worried over the yield of coffee this year. The planters are already at loss owing to various factors, including floods in the previous years, besides a shortage of workers. “There was a long break in the monsoon, not seen in the recent rains. When temperature increases due to this gap, there are chances of white stem borer attack. Besides that, if the monsoon prolongs following the long gap, it would be harmful to the crop in the long run”, said H.T. Mohan Kumar, president of Karnataka Growers’ Federation.
The Tourism Department opened the gates of the waterfalls at Jog near Sagar for tourists on June 28. In the first few days, hundreds of people visited the place to witness the grand spectacle. As the rains receded the falls lost their vigour. H.S. Ramakrishna, Assistant Director of Tourism Department, said the quantity of water had come down as there had been deficient rainfall in the area. “Now rains have started again since Friday in the area. Hope the waterfalls return to its glory soon”, he said.