Due to insufficient rains and drought the receding backwaters at Krishnaraja Sagar Reservoir has exposed vast areas of dry lands, which at normal times would remain submerged under flowing Cauvery river.
This has turned into a boon for farmers residing on the banks of Krishnaraja Reservoir. Taking the advantage of the exposed dry lands the farmers have started harvesting short term crops stretching over quite a few acres, right behind the dam. Acres of land has turned into a green carpet making one wonder whether a river ever flowed there.
Farmers of Kannambadi, Anandvoor and surrounding villages are growing crops like Sesame (Yellu), field bean (Thadnikalu), watermelon, Jowar and other crops which can be harvested within a span of two to three months. Some farmers had already begun harvesting dried field bean to prepare seeds for the next sowing session.
The river bed silt is naturally rich in soil nutrients, doesn't need any fertilizers or chemicals, says farmers. Being already a wet land there is less dependency on water. In case, water is needed the farmers collect water from the river in pot and sprinkle over crops. The farmers claimed that lands once belonged to their ancestors which was submerged after the construction of the Dam.
Farmer couple Vijaya and Lokesh said "We physically removed stones and pebbles lying on the dry riverbed and later sowed seeds. Already we have harvested good quantity of jower, field bean. We are making seeds of few grams, which will be helpful for the next sowing in our agriculture land.”
Farmer Sreenivasan said: “We do not find any difficulty to cultivate the river bed and harvest crops. It was nearly a decade ago, when the water level had dropped similarly we had harvested crops in the same manner.”