Agriculture Farming In Karnataka, Cultivation Of Crops

Introduction to agriculture farming in Karnataka

Karnataka is considered a miniature of India as it exhibits most of the features of India in climate, soil types, rainfall, crops grown, and a variety of natural resources. It has ideal soil and climate suited for raising a different variety of crops; tropical region, crops of temperate region, humid and arid regions are grown in the State.

A step by step guide to agriculture farming in Karnataka

Karnataka state is one of the leading states in the country in plantation and garden crops. It is the largest producer of coffee in the country. Tea, areca, coconut, cashew nut, cardamom, rubber, orange, and grapes are important plantations and garden crops. Karnataka agriculture is one of the essential attributes of the Karnataka economy. The topography of Karnataka such as the city’s relief, soil, and climate immensely supports the agricultural activities in Karnataka state.

Karnataka’s relief, soil conditions, and climate conditions jointly contribute to growing crops in the city. Agriculture is considered to be one of the main occupations for the inhabitants of Karnataka. The majority of the people in Karnataka are involved in growing crops, particularly in rural areas. Agriculture in Karnataka has occupied around 12.31 million hectares of land, which includes 64.6 % of the total area. The main season for agriculture in Karnataka is monsoon as irrigation is done in 26.5 % of the total cropped area.

A guide to agriculture farming in Karnataka.
guide to agriculture farming in Karnataka.

The agriculture system forms the backbone for the economic development of Karnataka. It contributes 37 % of the total State Domestic Product. Karnataka State covers an area of 1,92,204 square kilometers or occupies 5.35 percent of the total geographical area. Agriculture plays an important role in the growth of Karnataka’s economy despite a fall in its share in the state domestic product. In Karnataka, horticulture crops occupy 15.21 lakh hectares with an annual production of about 96.60 lakh tonnes. Karnataka is well known for vegetable and floriculture production and is a major silk-producing state in the country. The fisheries sector in Karnataka is now emerging as one of the most important in allied agriculture activities in the state.

ClimatIc conditions for agriculture farming in Karnataka

Karnataka state is having the second largest rain-fed agricultural area in the Country and food production is depending on the south-west monsoon. Karnataka shares the wider climatic pattern of the country as a whole although there are distinctive features. The climate is tropical monsoon type as the state is exposed to the south-west and north-east monsoons. The state enjoys long warm summers and cool winters in the main portion of the area. Winter (January and February), summer (March to May), south-west monsoon period (June to September) and north-east monsoon (October to December) are the four seasons recognized in the Karnataka state.

Variety of soils for agriculture farming in Karnataka

There are varied types of soils in the Karnataka state. Six broad groups of soil orders are recognized, mainly based on differences in soil formation processes, as reflected in the nature and sequence of soil horizons. Black soils are mainly found in northern Karnataka whereas red and red loamy soils are prominent in southern Karnataka. Laterite soils are found in the Malnad and coastal areas of the Karnataka state.

Talking about the soils in Karnataka, we can summarize the below points;

Black soils – These soils are derived from basalt, though some are formed from limestones, alluvium, shales, and schists. Then, these soils have high plasticity, stickiness, and tendency to swell and shrink when subjected to wetting and drying cycles.

Red soils – These form the most widespread soil type in Karnataka and the red soil results from the weathering of the crystalline and metamorphic rocks.

Red loam soils – These are deep to very deep and the clay content can vary. The soils are subject to intense leaching and they are fairly well-drained in the uplands and waterlogged in low-lying areas.

Mixed red and black soils – The coarse-textured red soils with high permeability are mainly found in upland areas whereas deep, clayey, poorly drained black soils occur in the low lands and valleys. The topography and parent material are the main soil-forming factors under the influence of which these mixed red and black soils are formed. These are derived from gneisses or schists rocks or sedimentary rock formations.

Different seasonal agriculture farming crops in Karnataka

Agriculture in Karnataka is done over 3 seasons;

  • Kharif (April to September)
  • Rabi (October to December)
  • Summer (January to March)

Kharif Crops – In the Karnataka Kharif crops in comprising millets, paddy, maize (pulses), groundnut, sugarcane, red chillies, soya bean, cotton, rice, and turmeric. In the month of Kharif crops April to September. Karnataka state is one of the major producers of rice among all other states in India. Rice is the major food crop harvested by Karnataka agriculture and sugarcane is the cash crop. And other cash crops sown in Karnataka agriculture apart from sugarcane are cashews, cardamom, betel (areca) nut, and grapes. The north-western region of Karnataka has black soil that supports cotton, oilseeds, and peanuts (groundnuts).

Rabi Crops – In the major Rabi crops of Karnataka are wheat, mustard, barley, sesame and peas. It is popularly known as the harvest in parts of Karnataka. In the month of Rabi crops October to December.

Major agriculture farming crop patterns in Karnataka

The cropping pattern of the region is influenced not only by agro-climatic conditions like rainfall, soil, and temperature, etc. but also by government policies and programmes for crop production in the form of subsidies, tariffs and speed of infrastructure development.

The crops of Karnataka can be classified as follows;

  • Food crops paddy, ragi, maize, pulses, and millets
  • Commercial crops sugarcane, cotton, tobacco, and mulberry.
  • Oilseeds-groundnut, sesame, sunflower, etc.
  • Plantation crops coffee, coconut, areca nut, rubber, and banana, etc.
  • In addition to these, different types of horticultural crops and floriculture are there.

List of agriculture farming crops grown in Karnataka

Karnataka is highly potential for its horticulture production and it ranks second in this aspect in India. Horticulture generates about 40% of the total income of the state. Karnataka’s agricultural products include raw silk which has the highest production range among all other states in India.

Primary crops grown in Karnataka are;

The main crops grown in Karnataka are Rice, Ragi, Jowar (sorghum), maize, and pulses (Tur and gram) in addition to oilseeds and several other cash crops. Cashews, coconut, cardamom, chillies, cotton, sugarcane, and tobacco are also produced. Karnataka state is the largest producer of coarse cereals, coffee, raw silk, and tomatoes among the states in India. Horticultural crops are grown in an area of about 16,300 km2 and the annual production is about 9.58 million tons. The income generated from horticulture constitutes over 40% of the income generated from agriculture and it is 17% of the state’s GDP.

Karnataka growers prefer cash Crops – Higher prices for cash crops have been encouraged farmers in Karnataka to Cotton, sugarcane, and tobacco. Is the main reason poor monsoon coverage and non-availability of fertilizers in a few districts in south interior Karnataka too have a played main role in lower sowing of Kharif crops in Karnataka.

he main part of commercial crops in Karnataka – We are taking only three important concepts of commercial crops in Karnataka. It’s the major role of rural and semi-urban areas in the Karnataka state. Firstly Sugarcane is the most essential part of human livelihood. Every day every person uses sugar products. Secondly, cotton uses a different way in different seasons and utilizes different methods. Finally, tobacco is the most dangerous material.

Paddy – Paddy is an important food crop of the State with an area of 12.70 lakh hectares. There are different varieties suitable for different regions.

Jowar – Jowar is an important food crop of the state with an area of about 20.89 lakh hectares. The operation season for the crop extends from January to June for irrigated crops, April to June in northern districts for rain-fed crop and September-October for Rabi crop. Therefore, the sowing season for the crop is for nearly seven months in a year. Jowar is the second most important crop in Karnataka after paddy and the total area under Jowar cultivation is 26% of the cultivable area. Jowar is the staple food of the people of North Karnataka. In South Karnataka, Jowar is primarily grown for cattle feed and Vijayapura stands first in the production of Jowar in the state.

Ragi – Ragi is the staple food crop of the southern districts of the State and it extends over an area of 10.61 lakh hectares. Dryland ragi sowing season starts from June and extends up to the second week of August. Ragi is a nutritive food grain. In Karnataka, it is the third important food grain after paddy and Jowar. Karnataka stands first in the production of ragi in India.

Bajra – Bajra is an important, crop of low rainfall belts of northern districts in the Karnataka state. Bajra is grown over 2.85 lakh hectares. Summer season crop can be sown during January and monsoon crop may be sown from June-July.

Wheat – Wheat is an important crop of the northern district of the State. October-November is the ideal month for sowing.

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Wheat Crop.
Wheat Crop.

Cotton – Cotton is an important cash crop of the state with an area of about 5.83 lakh hectares. Cotton is a fibre crop and it provides the raw material for cotton textiles. The main cotton-producing districts of Karnataka are Haveri, Dharwad, Gadag, Mysuru, Ballari, Raichur, Kalaburagi, Belagavi, Chitradurga, Davanagere, Koppal and Vijayapura. Among these, Haveri district ranks first in the production of cotton in the state, and Dharwad district ranks second.

Sugarcane – Sugarcane is an important cash crop of the State with an area of about 2.67 lakh hectares. The crop is sown or planted in three main seasons, July-August, October-November, and January-February. Sugarcane is the important commercial and industrial crop of Karnataka. Belagavi is the leading producer of sugarcane in Karnataka state and followed by Bagalkot, Mandya, Mysuru, Shivamogga, Davanagere, Koppal, Hassan, Vijayapura, Bidar, Ballari, and Haveri are important sugarcane-growing areas.

Groundnut – Groundnut is an important oil-seed of the state and it is grown annually over an area of 13.26 lakh hectares. For irrigated crops, May-June and December-January are ideal for this crop. Groundnut is one of the main traditional crops cultivated in Karnataka. This crop is grown under irrigated and rainfed conditions.

Organic agricultrue/farming in Karnataka

Organic farming aims at the production of quality and safe agricultural products which contain no chemical residues, following eco-friendly production methods and the farming systems that restore and maintain soil fertility.  The government of Karnataka has initiated action to promote organic farming in the state and intends to formulate policies related to its promotion. Karnataka state is bestowed with varied climatic and soil types spread across ten agro-climatic zones. The physical features of Karnataka include coastal plains, Western Ghats, and plateau enabling it to grow a variety of crops. The present movement silently taking place in Karnataka is not because farmers foresee a definite market for organically produced, but for production-oriented reasons such as a reduction in the use of external inputs, improvement of soil fertility, lower soil degradation, biological pest control and strategies for the promotion of organic farming.

Organic farming and Certification – The main objective of this programme is to promote the organic farming area by increasing the certified organic area and also to focus on the market-oriented commodity in potential areas to generate a bulk quantity of genuine organic produce through the farmer’s groups to meet the growing demand of domestic as well as an export market and ensure a continuous supply of required organic produce to the market. Then, this programme will be implemented through Karnataka State Organic Certification Agency (KSOCA) on project mode. There are more than 12,000 farmers in Karnataka who practice about 100% organic farming. Approximately 1 lakh farmers practice at least 50% organic farming.

Different agriculture farming schemes in Karnataka

For overall development of Agriculture sector in Karnataka, the following schemes have been implemented.

National Food Security Mission (NFSM)

In addition to the programmes under Rice, Pulses and Commercial Crops like Cotton and Sugarcane, NFSM-Coarse Cereals has been divided into two parts namely Coarse Cereals (covering Maize and Barley only) and submission on Nutri-Cereals which includes Jowar, Bajra, Ragi and other small millets such as Kodo Millet, Barnyard Millet, Proso Millet, Foxtail Millet and Little Millet. Apart from increasing the production of paddy and pulses, it has been planned to popularize and encourage the cultivation of Nutri-Cereals.

Pradhana Manthri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY)

The PMKSY scheme is mainly for Micro Irrigation to facilitate all categories of farmers to install micro-irrigation units at the lowest price to increase water use efficiency and thus increase the production. To emphasize judicious and efficient use of water, and drip irrigation units will be distributed at a 90% subsidy.

Soil Health Card Scheme

Soil Health Card Scheme is mainly proposed for periodic testing of soil and to recommend nutrient management, to issue soil health cards every 3 years in respect of all landholdings to capture the soil fertility changes occurring due to plant uptake or natural causes. And, more attention is required on the follow-up measures on the soil nutrient deficiencies identified in soil health cards.

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY)

Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) is a sub-component of Soil Health Management (SHM) scheme under National Mission of Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA), this aims at the development of models of excellence, ensure long term soil fertility buildup, resource conservation and also offer safe and healthy food without the use of agrochemicals.

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bhima Yojana

It is proposed to implement Karnataka Raitha Suraksha Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana to help the farmers during crop loss due to floods, drought, unseasonal rains, and other natural calamities.

Rashtriya Krishi Vikasa Yojana

Under this Scheme, funds have been provided for incentivizing Certified or HYV seeds supply to farmers, Agriculture Mechanization, Enhancement of Soil Health, Watershed activities, Strengthening of Market infrastructure and Marketing development, Support to Organic and Biofertilizers, Agro-processing, Strengthening of Laboratories for quality control activities, Production of quality planting material of Horticulture crops, Comprehensive Piggery and Poultry Development, Augmenting animal vaccine production, and Installation of Rain gauge stations, etc.

Krishi Bhagya

Krishi Bhagya scheme’s main aim is improving the rain-fed agriculture scenario with the efficient management of rainwater and also enhancing farm productivity. This aims for the sustainable development of agriculture. Thrust is on water conservation and promoting Dryland horticulture. The components of the schemes are farm ponds, polythene lining or alternate lining models, diesel pump sets, micro-irrigation (drip/sprinkler), shad net around the farm ponds.

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  1. Hi good morning
    The article is really good and very informative with recent data’s and details.
    I wish you add tables and diagrams to make it awesome.


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