Karnataka CM calls for revisiting central drought parameters
A comprehensive reevaluation to accurately address the emerging challenges posed by erratic weather patterns fuelled by climate change is required, he added.
BENGALURU: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has written to Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar seeking a reevaluation of existing parameters in the central manual for declaration of drought to address the current climatic challenges.
In a letter, the CM drew the Union minister’s attention to the delay and insufficient monsoon that have spelt disaster in many taluks and districts, especially in the eastern parts of the state. “The Manual for Drought Management-2016 was updated in 2020 setting the parameters for declaration of drought by state governments. I firmly believe that it is crucial to re-evaluate the parameters to accurately respond to the dire situation arising due to erratic weather conditions propelled by climate change and its adverse impact on our farmers and the agricultural sector,” he wrote.
A comprehensive reevaluation to accurately address the emerging challenges posed by erratic weather patterns fuelled by climate change is required, he added. The letter outlines a distressing narrative of the past few years wherein the battle against climatic adversities has intensified, especially in Karnataka, a state heavily dependent on farming. The intensification of drought has left an indelible mark on various facets of life, most profoundly on rural agricultural communities, he explained.
“Crop failures, water scarcity and socio-economic hardships have become synonymous with the new reality, leaving farmers in a state of vulnerability and uncertainty,” he said. He underscored the gravity of the situation through meteorological data, illustrating the stark contrast between expected and actual rainfall during the current South West Monsoon season in Karnataka.
With a notable -34% deficiency in rainfall compared to the normal average, coupled with a staggering -56% deficit in June alone, the agricultural landscape is being pushed to the brink. The letter highlights the inconsistency in drought declaration despite evident drought-like conditions in several regions, effectively leaving farmers without critical support.
The crux of the letter is to recalibrate the existing parameters for drought declaration, particularly in the context of Karnataka’s diverse agro-climatic zones. The prevailing one-size-fits-all approach, while once effective, now falls short in capturing the nuances and variations in different regions.