As Chitradurga district has not received ample quantity of rainfall for the last two months, farmers are apprehensive of facing another drought for the sixth year in a row. Though there were signs of good rainfall in the initial stages of the kharif season, the hopes of farmers evaporated in a short span of time.
The major commercial crops of the district — groundnut, maize, and sunflower — are already withering and the farmers who have invested thousands of rupees on seeds and fertilizer are in trouble as a majority of them have borrowed from moneylenders and other sources for farming.
According to sources, the Agriculture Department has set a target of 3,58,340 hectares for cultivation in the kharif season of which sowing has been completed only in 1,71,547 hectares registering a total of 47.9 % cultivation for the season.
In Chitradurga taluk, the target is 65,230 hectares of which sowing has been completed in 43,928 hectares for 67.3 % achievement.
In Challakere taluk, the officials have set a target of 1,00,850 hectares of which sowing has been completed in 38,334 hectares for 30 % achievement. In Hiriyur taluk, the target is 49,210 hectares of which sowing has been completed in 10,855 hectares [22.1 %]. In Holalkere taluk, the target is 54,990 hectares of which sowing has been completed in 43,221 hectares [78.6 %]. In Hosadurga taluk, the target is 55,560 hectares of which sowing has been completed in 26,910 hectares [48.4 %] and in Molkalmuru, of the target of 32,500 hectares, sowing has been completed in 8,291 hectares [25.5 %], the sources said.
Sources in the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre said that Challakere taluk has received 59 % of the normal rainfall, Chitradurga 39 %, Hiriyur 74 %, Holalkere 75 %, Molkalmuru 77 % and Hosadurga 79 % of the normal rainfall and the district is facing a total of 63 % rainfall scarcity in the current season. Based on the report submitted by the officers concerned, the State government may declare the district drought-hit in the next two weeks, the sources added.
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