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Decrease in banana yield in Belagavi district due to drought and power shortages



Karnataka, India

Banana cultivation in Belagavi, India, is experiencing a significant drop in yields this year, due to water scarcity and persistent drought. The situation is further aggravated by frequent power outages, which negatively impact crop yields and cause problems among farmers. The government’s restrictions on the use of river water for irrigation and the directive to HESCOM to limit electricity supply to agricultural pump sets to one hour per day, despite farmers’ requests for six hours, are exacerbating the problems we face. The inability to use well water contributes to the farmers’ struggle.

In Belagavi district, bananas are grown on 773 hectares, with Yaragatti being the largest cultivation area with 330 hectares. The district is facing severe power outages, affecting not only banana but also other crops such as betel leaves, sugarcane and vegetables, all suffering from the compounded effect of drought and electricity shortages. According to an Umarani banana grower, yields can range from 30 to 150 tons per hectare, depending on the variety and environmental conditions. Mahantesh Murgod, the deputy director of the Horticulture Department, stressed the importance of prioritizing drinking water and suggested that farmers should adopt drip irrigation and use solar pump sets, which are supported by government subsidies.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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