Failing monsoon and a drought have dealt a massive hit to farmers in Karnataka. While the cities are grappling for water, villagers are battling drought and farmers are bearing the brunt of crop failure. According to numbers given by the government, the recorded annual rainfall in 2016 stood at 831 mm as against the average rainfall of 1,155 mm. Between august to December, rainfall deficit stood at 50 to 70 per cent.
The 28 per cent deficit in rains has had a direct effect on agricultural production in the state which has gone down by an alarming 50 per cent as estimated by the government. Out of the 176 taluks, the government has already declared drought in 160 taluks. The situation is grim with water levels in reservoirs and dams depleting.
The Karnataka government had sought Rs 4,700 crore in relief from the central government of which only Rs 1,782 crores were sanctioned. Out of the sanctioned fund, the state has only received Rs 450 crore so far. Funds were sought for loss of Kharif crops that suffered at the hands of a failed monsoon in 2016.
The general Rabi growing areas of 32 lakh hectare have seen a severe dip with the sowing of crops in just over 25 lakh hectare. A dry summer has already become a nightmare for many with the agriculture sector being the worst affected. The state government has set up 90 fodder banks. Karnataka, on an average produces around 130 lakh tonnes of grains has managed to produce just about 90 lakh tonnes this time around.