A painful struggle to save crops

A painful struggle to save crops
Highlights

Many farmers of Nagarkurnool district are caught between devil and deep sea. While some of the farmers have given up hopes to continue with agriculture, some others are toiling hard to save their standing groundnut crops.  They are incurring expenditure to the tune of several lakhs, towards the cost of laying water pipelines to streams. 

Mahbubnagar: Many farmers of Nagarkurnool district are caught between devil and deep sea. While some of the farmers have given up hopes to continue with agriculture, some others are toiling hard to save their standing groundnut crops. They are incurring expenditure to the tune of several lakhs, towards the cost of laying water pipelines to streams.

The million dollar question is whether farmers of Kollapur Assembly constituency of Nagarkurnool district will get back their investment. Some farmers of Kollapur constituency in Mahabubnagar district raised groundnut banking on the Krishna River backwaters. They have been leaving no stone unturned to save their withering crops.

Farmers of many villages in Pentlavelli and Chinnambavi mandals raised groundnut, leafy vegetables and vegetable crops depending on the same source. As the water level in the river recedes, the problems of farmers soar. They raised various crops with the hope that the groundwater table will remain high since the Krishna flows adjacent to their farms. As several streams and rivulets that merge with the river are flowing in the region, the farmers harvested good crop.

But this year, the situation was totally different. Majority of the farmers raised groundnut. Water level in tube wells dipped with the receding of water level of Krishna. The farmers take pipelines for a distance of over two km to source water from a stream that merges with the river.

Groundnut farmer Satyanarayana Reddy of Koppanuru village of Chinnambavi mandal takes his oil engine on a bullock-cart to the river and pumps water with the help of over 200 water pipes. He has incurred Rs 75,000 expenditure towards the cost of the pipelines in addition to Rs 2500 daily towards diesel and wages to agriculture workers.

Satyanarayana says that he has to save the crops in this fashion for about 70 days. Despite being conscious of the fact that he would not be able to recover even the input costs, Satyanarayana is prepared to continue investing as he is not prepared to migrate to other places.

Another farmer Mahabub Pasha of Jataprolu of Pentlavelli mandal, who raised groundnut in 40 acres, fixed a pump set to his tractor and laid water pipelines spending not less than Rs 1 lakh. He goes to the Jataprolu stream everyday in the morning and evening and pumps water to his farm. He states that he incurred Rs 2 lakh expenditure towards the cost of diesel and water pipes.

Even if there is water in River Krishna, there is no end to their problems because their lands get submerged under the water. Lands belonging to 50 per cent of the farmers here remain submerged under Krishna water for about eight to nine months in a year. Some farmers take a bold step and cultivate water with receding of water level.

While some farmers get irrigation facility easily, others have to draw water from several kilometers. Unable to face problems because of short supply of water for irrigation and electricity, many farmers gave up agriculture and migrated to other places in search of work. Those who are not willing to migrate are staying put in the village and raising crops braving many difficulties. But, remunerative price for their produce continues to be elusive for them.

By V Narender Chary

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