Cultivation area for summer crops like sesame and pulses has shrunk by 1 lakh hectares.
The Saurashtra region and Kutch region, which is reeling under a drinking water scarcity, is now facing the problem of unavailability of irrigation water, leaving the farmers high and dry.
The total cultivation area for summer crops like sesame, pulses, millet and groundnut has shrunk by one lakh hectares, implying the yield will go down by at least 50 per cent.
Sowing in — Rajkot District, Jamnagar District, Junagadh District, Amreli District, Surendranagar District, Porbandar District, Bhavnagar District and Kutch District — has been over. The total cultivation area has touched the 1.62 lakh hectare mark, nearly 1 lakh hectare less than the previous year. Last year, the cultivation area for the main summer crops remained around 2.64 lakh hectares.
Bhartiya Kisan Sangh Secretary Laxman Patolia said: “Water is not available to the farmers either through bore wells or the pipeline supply. Farmers cannot even think of sowing and cultivation.”
A senior agriculture department official said on condition of anonymity that the water crisis has led to a shrinking of the area under cultivation.