Horticulture census in 11 dists to provide crop-specific info

Figures to help micro-level planning, remedial measures

The first-ever horticulture census is underway in the State, the outcome of which will provide detailed crop-specific information on all types of fruits, vegetables, plantations, species, commercial flowers and medicinal plants grown across the State.

The statistics available of horticulture crops at present are rough estimates compiled by the district horticulture officers and no uniform methodology is followed while collecting the data.

Under the horticulture census, taken up at a cost of Rs six crore, a detailed proforma has been prepared for the enumeration process and the census figures are expected to help in micro-level planning, intervention and remedial measures.

11 districts selected

“We have selected 11 districts for the first phase of the census. The field work is presently in progress and is expected to be completed in two months. The entire geographical area of the 11 districts will be covered and every farmer will be consulted during the enumeration process,” Horticulture Department Director D L Maheswar said.

The 11 districts selected for the first phase of the census include Bagalkot, Belgaum, Bellary, Chitradurga, Davangere, Gulbarga, Hassan, Kolar, Mysore, Shimoga and Tumkur. The remaining districts will be covered next year.

NGOs roped in

Maheswar said non-government organisations (NGOs) have been roped in to conduct the enumeration process. The department has got permission to use Bhoomi data (computerised records of land ownership of farmers) during the census.  On any day, around 1,000 personnel drawn from nine NGOs will be conducting the census.  

The data thrown up by the census will provide crop specific information in area, production and yield providing a concrete perspective of the horticulture sector of the
State.

Officials said the State grows at least 110 varieties of major horticultural crops. The major fruit crops being mango, banana, grapes, sapota, and chief vegetable crops include potato, onion, green chilly, okra and cucumber, among others. 17 major spice crops are grown in the State including pepper, cardamom, tamarind, ginger, turmeric, dry chillies, cumin seeds, clove, nutmeg, among others.

Among the plantation crops, coconut is grown across 4.9 lakh hectares and the turnover due to sale of coconuts is Rs 2,000 crore per annum.

Main commercial flower crops include aster, marigold, jasmine, rose and chrysanthemum. Coleus forskholl, tulsi, ashwagandha are among the main medicinal plants grown in the State.

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