Monday, Nov 03, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
Disclosing this at the Karnataka Development Programme (KDP) review meeting chaired by the Home Minister, Mallikarjun Kharge, and the Minister for Public Works, N. Dharam Singh, here on Sunday, the Joint Director of the Agriculture Department, Hanumanthappa, said only 50 per cent of the targeted 6.12 lakh hectares of land had come under rabi sowing this year due to the dry spell.
He said the jowar yield was likely to come down as farmers had sown jowar in only 1.76 lakh hectares of land as against the targeted 3.45 lakh hectares. Unless the district received rainfall in November, the situation was likely to worsen, he said.
Mr. Hanumanthappa revealed that the Indian Meteorological Department had forecast that the district was likely to receive rainfall from November 10 to 15, which might help farmers revive agricultural operations.
Mr. Kharge and Mr. Singh asked the Agriculture department officials to launch a campaign to educate farmers to take up cultivation of alternative crops such as bengal gram and wheat in the areas designated for jowar.
The meeting was told that as against the normal rainfall of 772.2 mm., the district had received 520.3 mm. The worst affected taluks were Jewargi, Afzalpur, Aland, and Gulbarga, where sowing had been affected due to the dry spell.
The Deputy Commissioner, Anjum Parvez, told the Ministers that the district had sought Rs. 8.06 crore and foodgrains worth Rs. 16.79 crore to provide work to 60,000 people for the next three months. This was in addition to the Rs. 8 crore available under the Calamity Relief Fund and the NCCF head to undertake drought relief works.
Mr Parvez said the district had received Rs. 80 lakh to take up drought relief works, and each taluk had been allocated Rs. 10 lakh. The taluk drought relief committees had been directed to prepare an action plan to utilise the amount by taking up drought relief works.
The Ministers were also told that no incident of distress sale of cattle had been reported from the district. If the rains continued to play truant, the district was likely to face a fodder shortage after January next year. However, farmers were being encouraged to grow fodder to tackle a possible crisis. The officials of the Animal Husbandry Department said the district had produced about 4.5 lakh tonnes of fodder from the khariff crop, which would last for three months.
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