Drought-hit farmers await funds from Karnataka Government

Gulbarga, Jan. 21 (ANI): Farmers in Gulbarga, Karnataka, are falling into debt as drought conditions prevail in the region while they await funds from the government.

Karnataka has been facing major dry spell for the last two years, leading to drought and crop loss. This has in turn burdened the farmers with debt as they struggle to make both ends meet.

The farmers said the federal government had released 227 million USD to the state but the government of Karnataka – run by Siddaramaiah-led Congress party – is yet to distribute the compensation to the farmers.

A farmer, Sharanu Patil, said they are suffering due to the blame game between the state and federal government of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“We are facing difficulties here as the state government of Congress party is saying the money has not been given while the federal government of BJP is saying that they have released the money but the government is not distributing. Due to this (blame game), we farmers are suffering,” said Patil.

Patil also said some farmers have migrated to other states while others have sold their cattle for their livelihood.

Meanwhile, Gulbarga’s District Collector Vipul Bansal said the local administration has received 29 million USD from the government and the first tranche will be released immediately.

“Because the number of farmers will be in excess of 3,75,000, we have appointed nine banks to help us enable the RTGS (real time gross settlement) into the accounts of all the farmers,” said Bansal.

For India’s nearly 200 million marginal farmers, many of whom borrow heavily to cultivate plots smaller than two acres, the fate of one crop can make the difference between life and death.

The impact of unseasonal rains and two straight years of drought on agriculture that sustains over two-thirds of India’s 1.25 billion people have dented Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity in the countryside, contributing to a humiliating loss for the premier in elections last year in the largely rural state of Bihar. (ANI)

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