CHITRADURGA: The devastating rains that lashed the state and some parts of the country has destroyed various crops in many parts of North Karnataka. But farmers in Chitradurga who were suffering from drought, are seeing a sliver of hope.
Farmers of the district are eyeing good prices this season for their onion crop, considered a major commercial crop. As onion is mostly grown in Maharashtra, most of the crop there has been destroyed by torrential rains.
Even though onion is usually grown in about 60,000 hectares in the district, due to scarcity of rain and depletion of groundwater, the area was reduced to approximately 8,000 hectares. Onion is also grown in Gadag, Davangere and Chikamagaluru districts, however, the rains have washed away the crop in these parts too. If the central government allows export of onion, the prices will soar above Rs 100 per kg.
Somendra, an onion grower from Belaghatta village, said, “After borrowing water from neighbours, I have sown onion in 5 acres of land. I am expecting good returns so that I can pay back my dues.”
Sunil Reddy, a villager of Dhyamavvanahalli, said, “Regularly, I used to grow onion in 45 acres of land, but this year, I could not sow as 25 borewells in my plot did not have even a drop of water.”“Last year, I sowed onions is about 10 acres of land. With no rain, I had to get tankers to water the crop. It was not possible for me to do the same this time too,” he added.
“My village Dhyamavvanahalli used to sow about 1,000 acres of onions every year. However, this year, only 100 acres were sown. Unless we get water from Upper Bhadra Project, the problem cannot be solved,” Sunil said.
He said that the central government should allow export of onion and stop import temporarily as it will help farmers overcome their financial burden.Horticulture department sources said that the area under onion cultivation this year is very less. Purple blotch disease is also affecting the crop.