Gujarat farmers hold ‘boat race’ in inundated fields

Farmers in Gujarat’s Devbhumi Dwarka district organised a boat race in their flooded fields to draw attention to their plight as crops cannot be cultivated since the monsoon waters have not receded and the state Agriculture Department is not conducting crops damage surveys.

The boat race was a satire on the government machinery’s deaf ears which can’t hear farmers’ plight, Congress Kisan Cell President Pal Ambaliya said.

Gadhechi is a low-lying area in the district, and till four years ago, the average seasonal rain used to hardly 10 to 13 inches and that too in phases, but now, there is increase in average rainfall up to 180 to 250 per cent. Due to this, the rainwater, that was receding in 10 to 15 days earlier, is now not receding even after month or two and so farmer are not able to take crops in Kharif.

If the water does not recede till November, even the Rabi crop will be impacted.

If the government completes the ditch, the issue can be resolved but government is not interested in it and is neither conducting survey to pay compensation to farmers, Ambaliya alleged.

District Development Officer D.J. Jadeja said that the District Agriculture Officer is asked to conduct crops damage survey, and once he submits report, district administration can request the government to release compensation for farmers.




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