MYSURU: A central inter-ministerial team touring Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s native district was greeted with dried crops in hundreds of hectares.
The team members were received by farmers with folded hands pleading for fodder, drinking water and employment as they have lost their only crop, ragi. “We took loans from friends and banks with the hopes that this season we would get 8-9 bags of cotton. But we could not even get 15 kg of cotton,” said Shivaiah of Udbur village.
He said farmers could not get dry straw to feed their cattle.
The central team comprising Oilseeds Director S M Kolhatkar, Senior Joint Commissioner of Water Resources Satish Kumar Kamboj and Joint Director of Finance Ministry S C Meena visited Udbur, Kalahalli, Harohalli, Jayapura villages.
The villagers said ragi, tur and pulses have completely dried up. “I had taken a loan of Rs 2 lakh last year. Hoping for better yield, I borrowed Rs 1 lakh more. But I could not even get fodder to feed my cows,” said Mahadev, another farmer.
The farmers said life has become miserable due to monsoon failure.
The team inspected dried up cotton crops in Kalahalli where farmers expressed inability to repay loans as their only commercial crop cotton has dried up.
Deputy Commissioner D Randeep has sought Rs 100 crore to pay crop loss compensation in the district. He said an immediate release of another Rs 100 crore would help the administration address the issues like drinking water.
In Hassan, the farmers urged the central study team on Friday to recommend higher compensation for crop losses and waive agriculture loans.
The team visited fields and tanks in more than a dozen villages in Arkalgud, Hassan, Holenarasipur and Belur taluks.
The farmers showed the team the dried up crops and tanks. Senior officials from Agriculture and Horticulture Departments explained the ground realities to the team. The members collected samples of withered crops in the fields near Mugaluru, Baragur and Chikkabagatwalli villages. The team also visited Yalavigi, Allipur and Mannur villages in Savanur taluk and Heggeri Kere in Haveri.
Deputy Commissioner M V Venktesh sought Rs 261.58 crore relief to the district. The district needs Rs 186.32 crore for agriculture, Rs 51.58 Crore for rural water supply, Rs 13.33 crore for horticulture crops, Rs 9 crore for urban water supply and Rs 1.35 crore for animal husbandry department.