Drought-hit Bundelkhand farmers now struggle to feed cattle

Bhopal, Jan 8 (IANS) Many farmers in Bundelkhand are setting free their animals in the forests to survive, as the region is facing drought once again. There is nothing in the fields to graze on and there is not even fodder available for the cattle.

Bundelkhand region comprises 13 districts of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. But the condition everywhere is the same. A shortfall in rainfall has led to loss in farm produce. This has turned farmers’ condition full of miseries.

As a lot of farmers are thinking of migrating to other places, the need to provide their cattle something to at least survive on has turned a major challenge for them.

“Due to low rainfall, the crops have ruined. Wheat could not be sown. In the days to come, we will have to be dependent on others for even a paisa. There is nothing for cattles’ feed. It would be very difficult to provide for them anything,” said Gulab Vishwakarma, a resident of Tikamgarh district.

“Main source of income in this area is farming. The cattle help in that. Setting free one’s cattle in the forest poses a threat of losing the cattle forever,” said Sanjay Singh, convenor of the Bundelkhand Aapda Nivaran Manch.

A good rainfall and the government’s help might help farming in future, but the absence or shortage of cattle would cause many other problems, he added.

The drought condition in seven Bundelkhand districts in Uttar Pradesh and six in Madhya Pradesh is almost the same. Due to rain shortfall, water resources have dried, forcing people to migrate. The state governments are yet to initiate any mitigation action in this region.

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