Six years ago, smallholder farming in the state of Karnataka was hardly a viable operation. Rainfall played a significant role in whether they succeeded in growing anything or nothing, whether they made a living or struggled. With no access to irrigation, farmers were confined to growing only one crop cycle, and couldn't risk diversifying to increase their profits. Add to this their limited access to capital, technology and markets and it's no wonder the livelihood of these farming families was so vulnerable. Over 56% of the Karnataka State population depends on agriculture for their livelihood. This figure is even higher at the national level. 60% of India’s population lives off farming and 83% of all farmers are smallholders, farmers who cultivate less than 2 hectares of land. These smallholder farmers are the backbone of agricultural growth; they contribute over 40% of India's grain production, and over half of its fruits, vegetables, oilseed, and other crops.
The Future of Farming: Smart Community Irrigation Solutions
With inputs from Ramdas Battalwar, Business Head CI, Netafim India.