In a first, Karnataka's crop survey throws up surprises

The survey has recorded crops in places where authorities had no idea they were being grown.

Karnataka’s ongoing crop survey, hailed as the first such exercise in the country, has thrown up some surprises. It has recorded crops in places where authorities had no idea they were being grown.

In fact, hundreds of such agricultural and horticultural crops have been recorded across districts as part of the app-based survey the government has been conducting since late August.

Sample this: In the Bengaluru Urban district, the survey has recorded hitherto unknown crops such as arrowroot, bamboo, ash gourd and barnyard millet being grown. In all, 167 such crops have been found in the district.

It is in Belagavi that 198 crops not normally known to be grown there — the highest in Karnataka — have been discovered, which includes blue grapes, acacia, ajwain among others.

Similarly, there are 160 such crops in Bagalkot district. In this district, in Badami alone, 75 crops like amaranthus, barley, cluster bean, castor among others were found in remote villages.

Likewise, Chikkamagaluru has 146 crops that are not normally known to be grown there, including tamarind that was found in the Lakya hobli.

“We also found, to our surprise, that potato was being grown in some pockets of the Dakshina Kannada district where there was no earlier record of potato growing,” additional chief secretary (e-Governance) Rajeev Chawla said. “It could also be that these are varieties of existing crops. The data pertaining to crops not normally known to be grown in places will be verified again by village accountants.”  

The first app-based crop survey, anchored by the e-Governance department, happened last year to address the absence of genuine crop data that resulted in shortcomings during the assessment of drought and price variation. 

The crop data is updated into the records of rights, tenancy and crops (RTC). In 2017-18, as many as 1.32 crore plots or landholdings were surveyed, of which crop data for about 90 lakh plots were updated in the RTCs.

The statewide crop survey for 2018-19 has covered 1.28 crore plots so far against a total of 2.18 crore plots that have been identified. Surveyors, many of them local villagers, are paid Rs 10 for every plot surveyed.

“The project has so many ramifications. We plan to make public farmer-wise crop data. Imagine the potential of data that can tell you how much 'tur dal' will be produced in the next three months,” Chawla said.

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In a first, Karnataka's crop survey throws up surprises

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