Kaliyana (Gujarat): Despite a contingency plan announced by the state government weeks back, the drought situation in Kaliyana village of Gujarat has made life difficult for the farmers.
67-year old Ganeshbhai Mori of Kaliyana village says his Gowar crop should have been two feet tall by now, but his field is all barren. With the sowing season gone by, it doesn't make a difference whether it rains now.
"The sowing season is over. The crop has failed. Now even if it rains, we'll just be able to grow fodder," Mori says.
Across districts in Gujarat, barren fields are a common sight, as an extended dry spell has destroyed seeds that farmers sowed following light rains in the last week of June. Many farmers are ploughing their fields again, hoping that they might still be able to sow crops that require lesser water.
Danubhai Butiya, a farmer, says, "The situation is bad. The government must declare a drought situation."
District collectors have begun collecting reports on water, cattle fodder and employment, so that an action plan can be worked out.
Dilip Sanghani, State Agriculture Minister, says, "We have made a contingency plan and the state government is gearing up to counter any eventuality."
In an ironic twist, it has begun raining now in Saurashtra and South Gujarat, but already it's too late.
The cotton and pulses crops have already failed because of the delayed monsoon. Farmers here say that even if it rains from now on, all they can do is sow fodder for their cattle.