Karnataka Organic Farming: For Vegetables, Fruits, Millets Crops, Livestock, Aquaculture, and Certification

An organic agricultural system promotes and enhances the health of the agroecosystem, including biodiversity, soil biological activity, and the biological cycle. Organic farming is increasingly popular because products produced under organic methods are more healthy and safe, besides fetching higher price premiums than those produced under inorganic farming.

Therefore, the Karnataka government outlined a broad-based organic farming policy called Savayava BhagyaYojane(SBY). Initially, the state government selected villages in every district and promoted organic farming experimentally; those villages are called “Organic Village”. Assistance is being extended for establishing organic manure production units viz., vermicompost, Compost, Bio-digester, Azolla, cattle urine collection pits, cement structures for liquid-manures/ panchhagavya/ jeevamruta/ beejamruta in each project areas (100 ha).

Assistance is also being given for the flooring of cattle sheds for the collection of urine & dung. In addition, organic manures, viz., green manure seeds, concentrated manures, oilcake, and bio-fertilizers, are being distributed to the farmers at subsidized rates. Further, assistance is also being extended for collection at the cluster level, grading, packing, branding, and marketing of organic produce.

Karnataka organic farming

Major crops in Karnataka

Paddy

The paddy crop is one of Karnataka’s most important food crops. Among the people of Karnataka, rice is their staple food. Paddy is grown in 28.2% of the total cultivable land. Paddy is grown in all the districts of Karnataka. The Krishna Tungabhadra, Cauvery, and coastal districts are famous for paddy cultivation. Raichur district stands first in the production of paddy.

Sugarcane

Sugarcane is Karnataka’se most important commercial and industrial crop. Karnataka ranks fourth in the production of sugarcane. It contains sucrose, and it is used to produce jaggery and sugar. Being an annual crop, sugarcane requires an irrigation facility. Belagavi is the leading sugarcane producer in Karnataka, followed by Bagalkot, Mandya, Mysuru, Shivamogga, Davanagere, Hassan, Koppal, Vijayapura, Bidar, Ballari and Haveri are important sugarcane-growing areas.

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Karnataka organic farming: Sugarcane Field
Cotton

Cotton is a fiber crop. It provides raw materials for cotton textiles. Besides, it is used for making carpets, beds, and pillows. Moreover, cooking oil is produced from cotton seeds. Moreover, cotton seed cake is used as cattle feed. The main cotton-producing districts of Karnataka are Haveri, Dharwad, Gadag, Mysuru, Ballari, Raichur, Kalaburagi, Belagavi, Davanagere, Chitradurga, Koppal, and Vijayapura. Among these, the Haveri district ranks first in cotton production in the state. Dharwad district ranks second.

Tobacco

It belongs to the nicotiana group. It contains an intoxicating substance called nicotine. Tobacco is used to manufacture beedis, cigarettes, cigars, and snuff. The Portuguese introduced tobacco in the 17th century in India. Subsequently, people started growing it in Karnataka. Presently, it is a major commercial crop in the state. Karnataka ranks fourth among the tobacco-growing states in India. Mysore district occupies the first position in the production of tobacco.

Coffee

Coffee is Karnataka’s famous plantation and beverage crop. Karnataka ranks first in the production of coffee in India. Karnataka produces two types of coffee, namely Coffee Arabica and coffee Robusta. Arabica is of better quality and enjoys great demand in the international market. Coffee is grown largely in the Kodagu district. After Kodagu, Chikkamagaluru, Hassan, Shivamogga, Chamarajnagar, and Dakshina Kannada are important for coffee-growing districts.

Organic vegetable farming in Karnataka

Because of growing awareness of health and environmental issues, organic farming, especially vegetables, is gaining momentum worldwide and emerging fast as an attractive source of rural income generation. Organic products are increasingly preferred in developed countries and major urban centers in India.

There is high demand for organic food in the domestic and international market, which is growing around 20-25 percent annually; as a result, the area under organic farming has been increasing consistently. Karnataka, with its varied climate and variety of soils, has enormous potential for organic vegetable production.

List of vegetables growing in Karnataka

VegetableAreas
growing
Organic
crop yield
Crop
duration
OnionChallakere
Molkalmuru
Chitradurga
Hiriyur
10-12
tons per acre
80-150
Days
CabbageTalavadi, Kolar28-32
tons per acre
120-150
Days
BeansTumkur
Kolar
Mulbagal
Devanahalli
Doddaballapura
Chickballapur
20-25
quintals per acre
100-120
Days
TomatoKolar
Chikkaballapur, Mandya
Belagavi
Haveri
Davangere
Srinivaspur
Bangarpet
Belgaum Districts
20-24
tons per acre
60-100
Days
CucumberMysore, Doddaballapur, Hoskote, and Anekal60 to 80
quintals per acre
45-60
Days
ChilliDharwadShimoga
Chitradurga
6 to 10
quintals per acre
90-100
Days
OkraMandya
Ramanagar
Devanahalli
Doddaballapura
Chickballapur
5-6 tons per acre45-50
Days

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Tomato Cultivation

Organic fruit farming in Karnataka

Karnataka’s economy is heavily dependent on agriculture. Agricultural activities are well suited to Karnataka’s topography, soil, and climate. In Karnataka, crop production employs most of the population, especially in rural areas. Approximately 64.6% of Karnataka’s total land area is devoted to agriculture, which occupies 12.31 million hectares.

The state of Karnataka also has a great deal of potential for horticultural production, second only to India in terms of production. The agriculture sector is implementing a major development plan and strategy in Karnataka to increase productivity, which will significantly boost the state’s economy.

List of fruits growing in Karnataka

VegetableAreas
growing
Organic
crop yield
BananaHosapete
Kampli
Chitradurga
Bagalkot
Chickballapur
20-24
tons per acre
MangoGadag
Kolar
Chikmaglur
6-7
tons per acre
PomegranateChickballapur
Gadag
Bagalkot
Dakshina Kannada districts
15-20
kg per plant
GrapeBagalkot
Chickballapur
Dakshina Kannada districts
6-8
tons per acre
PapayaChickballapur
Gadag
Bellary
Bidar
Bagalkot
Kolar
Dakshina Kannada districts
24-30
tons per acre
SapotaBagalkot
Chickballapur
Dakshina Kannada districts
250-2500
fruits per plant

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Banana Farming

Organic Millets farming in Karnataka

Evidence suggests millets were consumed during the Indus Valley civilization when they were first domesticated in India. In India, millet was first cultivated, which today is cultivated worldwide. It is a traditional food for over half a billion people across Asia and Africa; millet is grown in more than 130 countries. Compared to other staple foods in India, millets are primarily a Kharif crop, which uses less water and agricultural inputs. Karnataka is promoting millets as nutri-cereals that are good to eat and grow and kind on the planet.

The Department of Agriculture is taking up millet production and promotional programs. The perception of ragi (finger millets) and Jowar (sorghum), the state’s principal millets, as the poor’s food is changing mainly among those with lifestyle diseases. Karnataka has developed a brand called “Siri” for millets, as they are referred to as ‘siridhanya’ or rich grains. Karnataka has started implementing the distribution of millets through PDS -where the grains are sourced and distributed locally.

Today, Karnataka is one of the country’s leading producers and consumers of millet. All over the world, millets play an important role in generating livelihood, increasing farmers’ income, and ensuring food and nutritional security. The state government recently launched a Karnataka Organic Farming Policy to enable millet farming to move to a new level. In addition to providing minor millet farmers with a subsidy of Rs 4000 per hectare, Rs 10 lakh is also available to subsidize millet processing machinery.

List of Millets growing in Karnataka

MilletsAreas
growing
Organic
crop yield
Crop
duration
Pearl Millet
(Bajra)
Bidar
Gulbarga
Raichur
Bagalkot
Bijapur
Bellary
Davangere
Koppal
Gadag
Dharwad
Belgaum
8 quintals
per acre
70-80 days
SorghumBidar
Gulbarga
Raichur
Bagalkot
Bijapur
Bellary
Davangere
Koppal
Gadag
Dharwad
Belgaum
Haveri
Gadag
12 quintals
per acre
110-115 days
RagiDavangere
Chitradurga
Tumkur
Hassan
Chikkamagalur
Tumkur
Bangalore (Urban)
Bangalore (Rural)
Kolar,
hikkaballapur
Mysore
Chamarajanagar
Mandya
Shimoga
Belgaum
Dharwad
Haveri
Gadag
Uttar Kannada
Kodagu
10-12
quintals
per acre
125-135 days
Proso
Millets
Belgaum
Haveri
Dharwad
Gadag
5-7 quintals
per acre
60-100 days
BarnyardBagalkot
Bellary
Belagavi
Bengalur
Chamarajanagar
Chikkaballapur
Chikkamagaluru
6-8 quintals
per acre
90-100 days

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Millets Farming

Organic livestock farming in Karnataka

The Animal husbandry and livestock sector play an important role in the rural economy of Karnataka. Animal husbandry plays a vital role and provides an additional source of income to the country’s farmers. Animal products, for a long, have also played an important role in the country’s socio-economic life. It has been a rich source of high-quality animal products that have added greater nutritional value to the diet of farmers and other consumers. Products derived from animal husbandry mainly include milk, meat, and eggs.

India is the world’s largest milk producer, accounting for 16.43 percent of global milk production. It also accounts for 4.95 percent of the world’s egg production. India has the world’s largest population of milch animals, comprising 190.9 million cows, 108.7 million buffaloes, 135 million goats, and 65 million sheep in 2021. The major items of export include sheep/goat meat, buffalo meat, poultry products, dairy products, animal casing, natural honey, processed and other kinds of meat.

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Livvestock
Cattle development

For the development of cattle in the state, Indigenous breeds like Hallikar, Amrithmahal, and Khillar are given importance by selective breeding in the livestock farms located at Kunikenahalli in Tumkur, Ajjampura in Chikmagalur and Bankapura in Haveri districts respectively.

The production capacity of Amrithmahal breed cows is estimated at elite females being identified, and Amrithmahal Breeders’ cooperative societies are being formed. Frozen semen doses required for artificial insemination are produced at Hessaraghatta and Dharwad Frozen Semen Centers and supplied for breeding purposes.

Piggery development

Currently, the state has five pig breeding stations in the districts of Bengaluru, Kodagu, Dakshina Kannada, Bangarpet, and Chikmagalur. These stations also provide training and extension services in modern pig rearing and producing and distributing purebred piglets.

In the state, most unemployed educated youths and farmers are interested in modern pig rearing. Consequently, producing good quality pork and the lifestyle of the pig rearers are being promoted. Under the RKVY scheme, Pig Breeders co-op societies have been established to provide good quality pork and marketing facility.

Organic aquaculture in Karnataka

The state of Karnataka is blessed with abundant marine and freshwater resources. It has 320 km of coastline along with three districts, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, and Uttara Kannada. It has a 27,000 sq km continental shelf and 87,000 sq km exclusive economic zone, and 20000 acres of brackish water resources. Yadgir, a backward district, ranks first among inland fish production in the state. The organic aquaculture process is a long-term ecological and environmentally sustainable practice.

Humane and sustainable aquaculture practices are essential for raising aquatic products that are pollution-free and sustainable. Good health management practices minimize stress by providing free movement, suitable living conditions, and an optimum stocking ratio relative to the carrying capacity of the farming system. Furthermore, organic feed containing fishmeal should come from certified sustainable sources. Various fish species can be found in the lakes of Karnataka, including Rohu, Mrigal, Tilapia, and Catla.

There is some preservation of the natural habitat required for fish growth. By incorporating organic farming wastes, such as poultry droppings, organic manure, etc., into the pond, phytoplankton breeding can be promoted. Additionally, extra food is provided in moist or dry forms. Floating pellets may be given to fish that eat from the upper layers, while sinking pellets may be given to fish that eat from the lower layers.

How to get organic certification in Karnataka

  • A person (a farmer/ group of farmers/processor/ trader) looking for an organic farming certificate for their agricultural produce must ensure that their farm conforms to the standards laid out by the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP) for organic crop production.
  • They must submit an application in the requisite format along with the fee and complete field verification as specified by the National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP). All the information as requested by the Karnataka State Organic Certification Agency (KSOCA) in the application must be provided, such as the name, addresses, details of the contact person, field location, and details of the group must be completed, signed, and returned to the office for registration.
  • The evaluator will send the operator the offer letter (estimating the inspection and certification fees) and the agreement once the evaluator scrutinizes and accepts the application. The same will be communicated if the client is not accepted for certification due to technical reasons.
  • Operators are registered on the tracenet. Along with the application form, the requested person must pay the registration fee, field inspection fee, and one-time travel cost.
  • In consultation with the operator, fix an inspection date and send the inspection intimation letter along with a copy of the farm records.
  • The inspection will be conducted the day the agreement is finalized, and the operator will receive a copy of the signed contract. An inspection report will be provided to the operator during the inspection. In addition, an evaluator receives a detailed inspection report.
  • Tracenet entries include the detailed crop list, the major and minor nonconformities, and the corrective action deadline.
  • As for group farmers, the CB verifies their data and enters major and minor nonconformities along with a deadline for corrective action.
  • The evaluator receives full payment, reviews the operator’s file, and submits it to the Certification committee. 
  • Based on the corrective measures taken by the operator against the nonconformities raised in the inspection report, the Certification committee makes its final decision
  • A certificate will be generated by the Quality Manager and sent to the operator through the tracenet.
  • Before printing, the draft of the labels must be verified and approved by the certification agency office.

In case you missed it: Growing Jowar (Sorghum) Organically in Maharashtra: Step-By-Step Cultivation Process and Production

Organic certification

Conclusion

Karnataka state is bestowed with divergent climatic and soil types spread across agro-climatic zones. The physical features of Karnataka include coastal plains, Western Ghats, and plateau, enabling it to grow various crops. The state is also known for its excellence in horticultural crops and animal husbandry.

In addition, many state farmers are pioneers in organic agriculture and have developed many different cultivation systems through an indigenous knowledge base. Furthermore, they have developed methods of using organic wastes and holistic pest control agents to control pests and diseases. If you are planning for organic farming in the following districts of Karnataka, the above blog post will help with the basics of organic cultivation.

BagalkotHaveri
Ballarikalaburagi
Bangalore RuralKodagu
BelagaviKolar
BengaluruKoppal
BidarMandya
ChamarajanagarMysuru
ChikballapurRaichur
ChikkamagaluruRamanagara
ChitradurgaShivamogga
Dakshina KannadaTumakuru
DavanagereUdupi
DharwadUttara Kannada
GadagVijayapura
HassanYadgir

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