Vegetable Farming in Karnataka
Hello friends, today we are here with a new topic called “Vegetable Farming In Karnataka”. Vegetable cultivation occupies an important place in the agricultural development and economy of the country. Vegetable farming is an important source of income for many people. Vegetables are an indispensable part of balanced diet and it is the cheapest source of natural protective food. The vegetable farming business gives a higher yield per unit area within the shortest possible time which ultimately increases the income. An important source for earning foreign exchange through export of several vegetables.
Karnataka is India’s 8th largest state in a geographical area covering 1.92 lakh sq km and accounting for 6.3% of the geographical area of the country. In Karnataka, agriculture is the main occupation for a majority of the rural population. All vegetables are important sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants providing human health benefits. Also, vegetables provide mineral nutrients that are vital for the good health and maintenance of our bodies. Vegetables have low fat and calories, many mineral nutrients like potassium, folic acid, vitamin A, and C.
Major reasons for the increasing scope of vegetables are;
- Vegetables are increasingly recognized as necessary for food and nutrition security. It provides a promising economic opportunity for reducing rural poverty in developing countries.
- Vegetables are mankind’s most affordable source of several vitamins and minerals required for good health.
- Increasing people’s awareness towards a balanced diet and the concept of nutritional security.
Agriculture employs more than 60% of Karnataka’s workforce. The state ranks 5th in India in terms of the total area under horticulture. It stands 5th in vegetable crop production.
Agricultural Economy for Vegetable Farming in Karnataka
Karnataka is highly progressive about vegetable farming and enjoys this benefit because of favorable climatic conditions without any extremes in temperature. Agriculture remains the primary activity for the rural population in Karnataka. Vegetable farming defined as the growing of vegetable crops mainly for uses as human food. Vegetable farming in Karnataka requires attention to all crop production operations like an insect, disease, and weed control and efficient marketing.
Many vegetables can be grown throughout the year in some climate conditions, although yield per acre for a given kind of vegetable varies based on the growing season and region where the crop is produced. Temperature change requirements are based on the minimum, optimum, and maximum temperature levels during both day and night throughout plant growth. Requirements change based on the type and variety of the specific crop. The state’s rich and diverse agriculture contributes about 28.6% to the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).
Karnataka agriculture is one of the necessary attributes of the Karnataka economy. The topography of Karnataka means the city’s relief, soil, and climate immensely support agricultural activities. Vegetable farming is considered to be one of the primary occupations for the inhabitants of Karnataka. The majority of the people in Karnataka are involved in growing vegetable crops, especially in the rural areas. Agriculture in Karnataka has occupied about 12.31 million hectares of land that includes about 64.6% of the total area. The main season for agriculture in Karnataka is the monsoon as irrigation is done in only 26.5% of the total cropped area.
The Karnataka government envisions about 4.5% sustained growth rate for the agricultural sector of the state, as the government looks to enhance productivity while reducing the sustainable agriculture cost to increase the farmers’ income. The Karnataka government is looking to bring in changes in the functioning of the agricultural sector, by introducing the drought-proof agricultural system to promote climate adaptable methods and sustainably utilize the natural resources. The measures can help bring in agricultural sector stability of Karnataka’s economy, but it remains to be seen whether the state government can implement such policy measure in election-bound state.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Vegetable Farming In Karnataka, Planting Calendar
Soil Types in Karnataka
Usually, 11 groups of soil orders are found in Karnataka. They are Entisols, Inceptisols, Mollisols, Spodosols, Alfisols, Ultisols, Oxisols, Aridisols, Vertisols, Andisols, and Histosols. Depending on the agricultural capability of the soil, the soil types are divided mainly into six types. They are red, lateritic (lateritic soil is found in the bidar and Kolar district), black, alluvial-colluvial, forest, and coastal soils. The common types of soil found in Karnataka are;
- Red soils – Red loam soil, Red gravelly loam and clay soil, Red clay soil
- Black soil – gravelly soil, loose, black soil, and basalt deposits
- Lateritic soils – Lateritic gravelly soil, and Lateritic soil
- Black soils – Deep black soil, Medium deep black soil, and Shallow black soil
- Alluvio-Colluvial Soils – Non-saline, saline and sodic
- Forest soil – Brown forest soil
- Coastal soil – Coastal laterite soil, and Coastal alluvial soil
Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture in Karnataka
Karnataka state is having the 2nd largest rain-fed agricultural area in the Country and food production is mainly depending on the southwest monsoon.
Climate change is one of the biggest environmental threats to vegetable production, water availability, forest biodiversity, and livelihoods due to its long-term changes in surface temperature and precipitation. Global warming and climate change is projected to increase the number of extreme temperature levels and rainfall events, and hence climate variability is expected to show an upward trend. It is important to understand the past trends and variability in rainfall, minimum and maximum temperature levels in Karnataka since the knowledge on the past could guide the future.
Karnataka’s annual rainfall is about 1,151 mm on average and around 80% of it is received during the southwest monsoon, 12% in the post-monsoon period, 7% during the summer season, and 1% in the winter season. Karnataka has dynamic weather conditions due to the land’s altitude, topography, and distance from the sea. The Karnataka climate ranges from arid to semi-arid to humid tropical. Two annual monsoons that bring rainfall to Karnataka are the North-East monsoon and the South-West monsoon. The mean annual rainfall in Karnataka is around 1355 millimeters. The coastal region receives the maximum rainfall while parts of North Interior Karnataka are among the major rainfall deficit areas of the state.
Karnataka experiences four seasons in a year. They are;
Summer – It starts from March and extends till May and this season is hot, dry, and humid.
Monsoon – It begins in June and lasts until September month. During this Monsoon season, the state receives rainfall due to the southwest monsoon winds.
Post-monsoon – This season extends from October to December months. Then, this season is quite pleasant as humidity reduces significantly.
Winter – Winter stays in Karnataka state during January and February. The state experiences low temperature and reduced humidity. The warming trend in Karnataka has been observed for the period June to September and both minimum and maximum temperature was found to have risen by up to about 0.6°C over the last 100 years.
Organic Vegetable Farming in Karnataka
Organic vegetable farming promotes and enhances natural diversity and biological cycles on the farm rather than relying on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, it is based on making the farm self-sufficient and sustainable. Also, organic farming is such a cultivation practice that sequesters soil organic carbon which ultimately contributes to environmental quality. Increased soil carbon means increased soil organic matter, improved soil water holding capacity, conservation of natural resources, and better crop production. Crop residue management, no-tillage, efficient management of nutrients through organic sources, precision farming, efficient water management, and restoration of degraded soils all contribute to sustainable agriculture.
Organic farming can be defined as a production system, which avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetically produced inputs like fertilizers, pesticides, growth regulators, etc., placing maximum reliance upon crop rotations, crop residues, animal manures, green manures, mechanical cultivation, ground mineral-bearing rocks to maintain soil productivity and bio-pesticides for control of weeds, pests, and diseases. Also, this is called ‘ecological farming’ in some northern European countries. Though, organic farming must insure the building up of a satisfactory level of phosphates in the surface and subsoil and an optimal level of organic carbon in the soil.
About 1 lakh farmers practice at least 50% organic farming in Karnataka. This can be achieved through the use of organic wastes and other biological materials along with beneficial microbes to release nutrients to crops for increased sustainable production.
Organic vegetable farming systems are based on specific standards precisely formulated for food production. Then, it is based on minimizing the use of external inputs through the use of on-farm resources efficiently compared to industrial agriculture. They have developed many different systems of cultivation through an indigenous knowledge base. They have developed their methods of using organic wastes and holistic pest control ways to control pests and diseases.
Organic farming is proposed and conducted at Bengaluru, Karnataka with the following objectives;
1. To Identify the Organic Food Demand among the Urban Population of Bengaluru, Karnataka
2. To identify the major institutions and organizations supporting organic farming, Karnataka
3. To identify and analyze the organic farmer’s perception of organic farming and organic certification, Bengaluru, Karnataka.
Karnataka farmers felt that there is a need to fight against the high yield variety and green revolution fertilizer-pesticide package. Then, they realized the need for organic farming is the only alternative for this problem and returning to traditional sustainable farming without impairing the ecosystem.
Organic farming increases the agro eco-system health, also improves biological cycles and soil biological activity with the aim of higher productivity and profitability.
The government of Karnataka announced by “Savayava Bhagya Yojana” Scheme to strengthen and consolidate the gains by providing support for the certification process, establishing farmer’s federations, and developing market linkages. Regional Federations of Organic Farmer’s Associations have been established to facilitate organized marketing of organic produce. The funds are proposed to assist these federations to take up organic produce collection, grading, processing, value addition, packing, brand development, and marketing apart from consumer awareness programs and related activities.
The “Savayava Bhagya Yojana” has created a vast market opportunity for the farmers and helped them to expand the area under organic farming and made the public convince about the health and nutrition benefits of organics and millets. It is time to explore this opportunity for the advantage of farmers of the state. Then, the policy is aimed at integrating the current dynamic market conditions and consumer preferences towards health consciousness. The main objective of the policy is to provide organic farmers with an organized market for their products and to popularize organic foods as “Super Foods” among the consumers.
Irrigation Management for Vegetable Farming in Karnataka
Water is an essential ingredient for vegetable production. Initially, natural rains provided water supply to agriculture in forest areas and there was no conscious effort to tap water resources. Rainwater is available only on the day of rain, but river water is available for a longer duration and so dependability increases with river water. Also, further increase in population led to the growth of communities away from the riverside.
When water is needed during the non-monsoon season and it could not be available in a river in requisite quantities. The need for irrigation is more acute in Karnataka than in most other parts of India; as over two-thirds of the state’s cropped area receives a rainfall, which is too low below 75 cms, seasonally concentrated, and highly uncertain. Irrigation is the state’s drought-prone east of the Sahyadris zone even during Kharif season to protect crops from dry spells, which are more frequent and prolonged here, and without irrigation, a Rabi, or summer crop is almost impossible over most of the state.
Irrigation management offers moisture required for growth and development, germination, and other related functions. The frequency, rate, amount, and time of irrigation are different for different crops and also change according to the types of soil and seasons. For example, summer crops need a higher amount of water as compared to winter crops.
Irrigation is the key infrastructure for the agricultural development in Karnataka and, the agricultural production in the rain shadow areas if the state is objecting to considerable instability, which affects the economic position of the farmers. Then, there has been a considerable slowdown in the growth of the agricultural sector in the eighties and nineties leading to stagnation in Agricultural output. Karnataka has turned out to be a net importer of food grains from the rest of the country recognizing the situation irrigation has been considered as one of the major inputs essential to step up productivity. So, there is an urgent need to increase the percentage of cultivated areas under irrigation by judicious tapping of available irrigation potential in the state.
Growth Performance and Policies in Vegetable Framing in Karnataka
Karnataka occupies a prominent place in Horticulture. During recent decades, the area under this crop has witnessed a sharp decline and it might be due to low market demand and low profitability in its cultivation. Horticultural crops occupy an area of about 18.00 lakh hectares, with a production of 136.38 lakh tonnes. The area comprises only 14.44% of the net cultivated area in Karnataka, the total income generated from the horticulture sector accounts for over 40% of the total income derived from the combined agriculture sector. This accounts for 17% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the state. A significant shift towards horticulture is evident in the state with an increase in area and crop production. For instance, about 58,000 hectares, area has been brought under horticultural crops through the watershed programs. Horticulture growth is being diversified on a scientific basis since the early decades of the present century.
The objectives of the policy are as follows;
- To increase the value addition and reduce wastage, thereby increasing the farmer’s income.
- To maximize employment generation opportunities.
- To extend the supply chain opportunity in a rural area.
Government desires to achieve these objectives through the below strategies;
- Encouraging the supply chain infrastructure investments to reduce post-harvest loss.
- Strengthening linkage between processing enterprises and Research and Development institutes.
- Encourage quality certification adoption, and clean practices, energy-efficient measures.
Common Vegetables Grown in Karnataka
Tomato is a popular vegetable crop grown in most of the districts in Karnataka. Tomato is an annual or short-lived perennial plant and greyish green color curled uneven pinnate leaves. The flowers are off-white bearing fruits which are red or yellow and it is a self-pollinated crop. Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Mandya, Belagavi, Haveri, Davangere, Srinivaspur, Bangarpet, and Belgaum districts are the major tomato-producing districts in Karnataka.
Light irrigation should be given 3 to 4 days after transplanting. Irrigation intervals must be according to soil type and rainfall, irrigation should be given 7-8 days intervals during Kharif, during Rabi 10-12 days, and 5-6 days during the summer season. Flowering and fruit development are the critical stages.
Tomato is the world’s largest produced vegetable crop. Also, it is one of the most important vegetable crops cultivated for its fleshy fruits. Therefore, it is considered an important commercial and dietary vegetable crop.
Tumkur, Kolar, Mulbagal, Devanahalli, Doddaballapura, and Chickballapur are the beans-producing districts in Karnataka. Also, beans don’t need supplemental fertilizer because they can fix their nitrogen. Though, poor soil needs to be replaced with aged manure or compost in the fall before planting.
Cabbage is a prominent winter vegetable crop grown in Belgaum, Haveri, and Hassan districts during the Kharif season. Plants flower generally after winter. Hassan (highest quantity), Doddaballapura, Chickballapur, Malur, Mulbagal, Hoskote are the Cabbage cultivated places in Karnataka.
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Early crops mostly prefer light soil while late crops thrive better on heavier soils due to retention of moisture. On heavy soils, Cabbage plants grow more slowly and the keeping quality is improved. A pH level of 6.0-6.5 is considered optimum for growing cabbage.
Apart from Gadag, onions are grown in several districts in Karnataka like Dharwad, Bellary, Chitradurga, Kortagere, Gadag, Dharwad, Haveri, Vijayapura, Bagalkot, and Chitradurga as well. The onion produce from Karnataka hits the markets between October and December. Later, the supply from Maharashtra starts. Onion can be grown in all types of soils and the best soil for successful onion cultivation is deep, friable loam and alluvial soils with good drainage, moisture-holding capacity, and sufficient organic matter. The irrigation mainly depends upon the season, soil type, method of irrigation, and age of the crop. It is harvested depending upon the purpose for which the crop is planted. Though, for marketing as green onion, the crop becomes ready in three months after transplanting.
The botanical name of cucumber is Cucumis sativus and cucumbers are originated in India. Mysore, Doddaballapur, Hoskote, and Anekal are the Cucumber cultivated places in Karnataka. The pH level from 6 to 7 is suited best for cucumber farming. Weed can be controlled by hand-hoeing and also controlled by chemically, use glyphosate by 1.6 liters per 150 liters of water. In the summer season, it requires frequent irrigation and in total it requires 10 to 12 irrigations. Pre-irrigation is required before sowing then subsequent irrigation is required after 2 to 3 days of sowing. After the second sowing, the crops are then irrigated at the interval of 4 to 5 days. Drip irrigation is very useful for this crop.
Byadgi chilli is a famous chilli variety grown in Karnataka. Chilli varieties suitable for Karnataka are;
Byadagi – It is a high branching type. Fruits attain deep red color on maturity and develop wrinkles on the surface and these are 12 to 15 cm long and thin but less pungent. It is extensively cultivated in the transition belt of Dharwad, Shimoga, and Chitradurga districts.
Sankeswar – Leaves are light green. It is extensively cultivated under rain-fed conditions in Belgaum districts.
Chincholi – These plants are bushy, ripe fruits are yellowish red having poor keeping quality. It is a highly pungent variety and it is cultivated mainly under irrigated conditions in Gulbarga, Bidar, and Raichur district.
Brinjal or eggplant is an important solanaceous crop of subtropics and tropics. The Brinjal grown here is light green and is spherical, unlike the usual purple-colored variety. Brinjal fields must be regularly irrigated to keep the soil moist during frosty days.
You may also check this: How To Grow Vegetables In Summer.
Okra is also called ‘Lady Finger’ or ‘Bhindi’. It is one of the most loved and healthy vegetables across the countries. Plant okra seeds about ½ to 1 inch deep and about 12 to 18 inches apart in a row. Okra cultivated places in Karnataka Mandya, Ramanagar, Devanahalli, Doddaballapura, and Chickballapur.
Vegetable Planting Calendar in Karnataka
|Name of Vegetable||Growing Season||Germination temperature (in °C)||Method of Sowing||Sowing depth (inches)||Sowing distance (inches/feet)||Days to Maturity|
|Tomato||Jan-Feb Jun-Jul Oct-Nov||20-30||Transplant||0.25||Between Seeds – 1 ft Between Rows – 2.5 ft||110-115 days|
|Beans||–||16-30||Direct||1-1.5||Between Seeds -8” Between Rows – 18”||45-50 days|
|Okra||Jan-Feb May-Jun Oct-Dec||20-32||Direct||0.5||Between Seeds – 12” Between Rows – 18”||45-50 days|
|Cucumber||Jun-Jul Sept-Oct Dec-Jan||16-32||Direct||0.5||Between Rows – 12 inches||50-70 days|
|Onion||Mar-Apr May-Jun Sept-Oct||10-32||Transplant||0.25||Between Seeds – 4 ft. Between Rows – 6 ft||150-160 days|
|Cabbage||Jun-Jul Oct-Nov||10-20||Transplant||0.25||Between Seeds – 1 feet Between Rows – 1.5 ft||90-100 days|