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Drought's Impact on Food Production foreseen by Karnataka's Agri Minister N Chaluvarayaswamy

After launching the centralized helpline for farmers, Chaluvarayaswamy informed the press that the state has experienced a rainfall deficiency of 22% from June 1 to August 16. Specifically, for the month of July, the deficit in rainfall was notably higher at 29%.

Shivangi Rai
Agriculture Minister N Chaluvarayaswamy expressed his concerns over deficit rainfall. (Image Courtesy- Twitter/N Chaluvarayaswamy)
Agriculture Minister N Chaluvarayaswamy expressed his concerns over deficit rainfall. (Image Courtesy- Twitter/N Chaluvarayaswamy)

Expressing his deep concern regarding the deficient rainfall, Agriculture Minister N Chaluvarayaswamy conveyed that the prolonged dry period could have a detrimental impact on the state's agricultural output.

He highlighted the possibility that farmers might not be able to harvest the crops they've already planted if the awaited rainfall gets delayed by an additional four to five days.

During the inauguration of a centralized call center for farmers, Chaluvarayaswamy informed media that the state had experienced a rainfall deficit of 22 percent from June 1 to August 16, with July alone having a deficit of 29 percent. This shortage of rainfall has significantly affected the progress of sowing operations, which currently stand at 75 percent against the target of 82.35 lakh hectares. The situation appears even more precarious if the anticipated rain doesn't materialize within the next few days, as the minister stressed.

Chaluvarayaswamy underscored the fact that rainfall has significantly diminished in the past two weeks, citing examples such as Tumakuru receiving no rain, Bengaluru district receiving only 0.01 mm of rain, and Shivamogga experiencing a meager 1.9 mm of rainfall. He expressed his worry that this weakening monsoon across the state could thwart the expectations of farmers who were counting on harvesting their crops soon. Such a scenario, he cautioned, might lead to a decline in overall food production.

The minister disclosed that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has already communicated with the Union agriculture minister to request a reconsideration of drought guidelines to provide relief to the struggling farmers. The current guidelines stipulate a rain deficit of 60 percent and a dry spell lasting three weeks as the criteria for declaring a drought.

Chaluvarayaswamy expressed reservations about these conditions, asserting that they might not warrant assistance from the central government. He proposed that if the Union government were to reevaluate and relax the rain deficit condition from 60 percent to 30 percent, it would offer much-needed protection to farmers facing substantial losses due to adverse weather conditions.

Chaluvarayaswamy also disclosed that the state government had chosen two women farmers, namely Rani Chandrashekaraiah from Mandya and Maragret from Kolar, both of whom are engaged in millet cultivation, to represent the state in the upcoming G20 millet summit scheduled to take place in New Delhi next month.

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