According to the sources, it has been reported that owing to deficient rain in the district, the cultivation of paddy has been taken up in around 9 per cent of the total targeted area. In this regard, the Department of Agriculture had set the target to undertake cultivation of paddy in 1.5 lakh hectares for the kharif season in the district this year. So far, the cultivation has been completed only in around 9,400 hectares. Further, it has been revealed that the district has received 813 mm rain up to July 20 this year, against the average rain of 1,071 mm with deficiency at 24 percent. Sowing has been completed in parts of Sagar and Sorab taluk in Karnataka state where the paddy is cultivated under seed drill sowing method. Kuberappa, a farmer from Anavatti village informed that, last year, many farmers in the region though had raised paddy nurseries, but could not undertake transplantation owing to scarcity of rain.
Furthermore, it has also been described that they had switched over to maize and pulses that require less water. In case, if dry spell continues for few more days, the farmers will be compelled to give up cultivation of paddy this year too. It has been indicated that the paddy is cultivated in around 25,000 hectare land in command area of Bhadra, Anjanapura and Ambligolla reservoirs in Karnataka where the sowing usually takes place by last week of the month of July when water is released from the reservoir to the canals. The water level in Bhadra reservoir is at 145 feet against the maximum level of 186 feet. However, the water level in the reservoir was at 159 feet last year on the same day. As per report, there will be delay in release of water from these reservoirs to the canals that will result in corresponding delay in cultivation of paddy in the command areas.
Further, in this context, Mr Madhusudan, Joint Director of Department of Agriculture informed to reporter of the Newspaper, that, the sowing for kharif crops takes place in the month of June and July in the district. The scarcity of rain in the district during this period was the reason for low progress achieved in sowing. It has been also narrated that from June 1 to July 20, the district has received 732 mm rain against the average rain of 924 mm during this period. At present, the sowing of maize has been completed in 57,000 hectares. As paddy is a water-intensive crop, the target set for its cultivation has not been achieved so far owing to scarcity of rain. In addition, Mr. Madhusudan also told that according to forecast, the monsoon is likely to become active in the region from last week of July after which the agriculture activities are also expected to gain momentum.