Farmers in distress, leave crops to cattle as fodder
Tirupati: Groundwater depletion, increase of cultivation costs, scarcity of manual labour, no supportive price in the market and many other reasons...
Tirupati: Groundwater depletion, increase of cultivation costs, scarcity of manual labour, no supportive price in the market and many other reasons are forcing the farmers to migrate to urban areas for their livelihood and leaving the standing crop to cattle as fodder. The situation is worse in the western parts of Chittoor district. Young members of almost every family migrated to urban centres in search of employment. Thousands of acres of cultivated lands are left barren due to non-availability of irrigation water.
A farmer of Kalicherla village in Tamballapalle mandal has 13 acres of land in which he is cultivating paddy in three acres and groundnut crop in two acres. The remaining eight acres were kept as waste lands. Earlier, he cultivated tomato in one acre by investing more than Rs one lakh, but he got only Rs 20,000. He left it as barren land. As there is no profit from tomato crop, he left this one acre to his cattle for fodder use.
After experiencing non-profitable cultivation, his sons went to Bangalore in search of jobs like in civil construction works and manual laborers in industries. He alleged that the government had not paid any input subsidy to him and was struggling hard to pay the labour charges to agricultural labourers. He pointed that now-a-days they are facing acute shortage of agricultural labour and the labour charges also increased manifold during the past three or four years.
He spent almost Rs 7 lakhs for digging six bore wells but got only little water from single bore well. The remaining five bore wells dried up due to groundwater depletion. Even though there is Akumanugutta project it is useless for farmers, which is completely dry. The situation of another farmer, Reddppa of Mudivedu village of this mandal is also same.
He has seven acres of land, in which he is cultivating paddy in two acres and kept the remaining five acres uncultivated. He is concentrating only on paddy and has no helping hand to him from his family members, because, all have gone to Bangalore and urban areas in search of employment.
The cultivation in many villages in Western part of Chittoor district is nothing different from the above two incidents. Most of the villages are facing agricultural crisis due to several problems like irrigation water, low market price, increase of production cost, increase in labour charges and non-availability of labour.