“The drought, India’s first since 2009, will not cause a shortage of staples as the nation’s grain stores are overflowing with rice and wheat, and sugar output is set to exceed demand for a third straight year. But the drought will deal a devastating blow to grain crops used for animal feed. That would badly hit the vast majority of the country’s farmers, whose only assets are often cattle and small landholdings. Many of these farmers struggle to survive at the best of times and the drought could push them over the edge.
“The cattle population would be adversely affected due to marginal availability of green fodders… But the food grains will be supplied through the public distribution systems to the families below poverty lines, which would help the families living in poverty to cope with the situation,” Amar Nayak, a spokesperson for the development organisation Action Aid, told Al Jazeera.
Four states – Karnataka, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra – are facing drought-like situations.
“We are here because there is no water in our village. Neither for the animals, nor for us. Our cattle get sugarcane, corn, fodder, dry fodder, green fodder; we get rice and pulses here,” said Atpadkar, who left his house and land to save the lives of his cattle, his most valuable possessions.”
Read more: Aljazeera