Bengaluru rural floods ruin Bangalore Blue

Agriculture City

The grapes are the main crop of Cheemachanahalli, experienced heavy rainfall.  

The farmers of Cheemachanahalli, a village in Devanahalli taluka of Karnataka, lost more than 1500 kilograms of their Bangalore Blue grapes due to the heavy rainfall in Bengaluru.

Krishnappa, a grape farmer shows his ruined grape vine due to heavy rainfall in the village of Cheemachanahalli, a village in Devanahalli taluka.

“I lost around Rs. five lakhs due to the rains,” said Krishnappa, a grape farmer living in Cheemachanahalli. He said that he had invested around Rs. 1.5 lakh in the recent harvest. He was not able to get any return because of the floods this year. The main crop of the village is grapes, followed by ragi and corn. 

The farmers have lost Rs. 5 lakhs to Rs. 10 lakhs due to the floods. “Around 30 of us visited Agriculture Department of Devanahalli taluka for help, but we have not received help from the government,” said Lakshaammama LT Chik Kempaana, another grape farmer in Cheemachanahalli. The grape farmers said that all of the 100 acres of land dedicated to grape farming have suffered losses.

Dr.  B.G. Hanumantharaya, Assistant Professor of Horticulture at the University of Agricultural Sciences   said, “Cheemachanahalli produces Bangalore Blue, a variety of grapes which requires less amount of water.” This particular variety of grapes is a hardy variety. In 2013, Bangalore Blue received a Geographical Indication Tag from the Government of India. 

Bangalore Blue got spoiled during the rains in Lakshaammama LT Chik Kempaana farm

The government has a weather-based insurance scheme to help farmers. Adharsh, Assistant Horticulture Officer of Devanahalli taluk, said, “Through Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (RWBCIS), we aim to help the farmers who suffered losses due to the flood.” The Department of Financial Services said that approximately 15 lakh farmers have been insured under this scheme in 2016. In the case of grapes, relative humidity and rainfall are taken into consideration. The farmers under this scheme pay Rs. 5,600 per annum and can claim insurance when there is loss. However, the farmers said that the extensive process of claiming the insurance money has made it difficult for them to get money under this scheme.    

  • Lakshaammama Lt Chik Kempaana at his ruined grape farm with the waste grapes on the ground.

The Revenue Department and Horticulture department conducts inspections and submits the report, after which help is given to those who have suffered a 33 percent loss. The farmers of Cheemachanahalli said that the inspection has not been conducted after the flood led to crop failure.

Dr. B.G. Hanumantharaya said, “Bangalore Blue grapes do not need watering during rains and when there is no rain, only 15 liters of water is needed, but only through drip irrigation.” Excess amount of rainfall this year has led to the spoiling of the grapes due to weakening of plants.