Monday, September 28, 2009

Karnataka loses Rs 1,387 cr farm crops

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The loss in Karnataka on account of floods and deficit rainfall has been estimated at Rs 1,387 crore worth in the current kharif season. Crops such as paddy and pulses and commercial crops such as sugarcane and tobacco have been withered following drought and excess rain in some districts of the state. Crops such as paddy, jowar, bajra and pulses like green gram and black gram are most affected crops.

The crop loss due to floods and drought is together estimated to be Rs 1,387 crore during the 2009-10 Kharif season, according to officials in the agriculture and revenue department. The drought has damaged Rs 871 crore worth of crop, while excess rain have affected Rs 516 crore of both agricultural and horticultural crops in the state, they said.

A central team visited several drought prone districts of the State on Tuesday to study the drought situation. The team would meet the Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on Wednesday. The team is expected to submit the report on the drought in the State to the Centre in 10 days time.

The team, including joint director of the Central Agriculture and Cooperative Department GG Thomson and director of Oil Seeds Development Directorate Gurumukhi was welcomed by Gulbarga Deputy Commissioner KS Satyamurthy and chief executive officer of Gulbarga zilla panchayat Anbukumar. The team visited the drought affected villages of Afzalpur and Jewargi taluks on Tuesday and arrived in Bangalore in the evening evening to meet the state level officials on Wednesday.

Before arriving at Gulbarga, the team visited Markal and Janawada villages of Bidar taluk, Santpur, Ladha, Jonnikeri and Tegampur of Aurad taluk and some villages of Bhalki taluk on Monday.

Speaking at Bidar, Thomson said all the panels that visited different parts of Karnataka would hold meeting after reaching New Delhi to consolidate the report and would submit it to the Union government.

As there were no rains in Gulbarga from June 19 to August 14, crops like green gram and urad, were completely destroyed and due to non receipt of rains, only 56 per cent of agriculture land has been cultivated. Of this also, most of the crops were damaged due to failure of monsoon.

Another two-member team comprising A.K. Raina, Joint Director, Department of Finance (Accounts and Expenditure), and R.C. Mishra, Assistant Commissioner, Department of Animal Husbandry visited Halvarthi and Haligera villages in Koppal and Kuknur and Vangera villages in Yelburga, Hiremannapur and Tawargera villages in Kustagi taluk today. The team assessed the loss in maize crop which is severely affected due to drought and examined the arrangements for augmenting drinking water supply and fodder in these villages.

The State has sought a central assistance of Rs 394 crore and Rs 317 crore to tackle both drought and floods, respectively, in the state.

The impact of drought has been severe in the state as 16,00,000 hectare of crop area has suffered due to paucity of water, while excess rain have affected 1,34,926 hectare of agricultural crops and 23,000 hectare of horticultural crops.

Over 10,000 hectare of paddy area has suffered badly due to heavy rain and drought. The state has planted paddy in 7.05 lakh hectare, below the governments target of 10.50 lakh hectare, according to official data.

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