Karnataka farm sector gets 6 hours of power daily, least in India
Posted: May 09, 2018
The state’s capital, Bengaluru, is facing power outages for long hours with elections around the corner
Latest News : In 2017-18, Karnataka’s agriculture sector received, on average, six hours of power per day–lowest among the states for which data were available–according to latest national data.
With 70% of the state’s population dependent on agriculture, and 70% of the state’s cultivable land dependent on low and erratic rainfall, power supply for irrigation is crucial ahead of elections to the state’s assembly on May 12, 2018.
Rural Karnataka, which accounts for 154 (69%) of the state’s 224 legislative constituencies, remains the primary focus of the election. Nearly 61% of Karnataka’s population lives in rural areas, and 54.6% of the state’s workforce is employed in agriculture and allied activities.
Karnataka’s farmers are battling drought and water shortage, and have been under dire financial duress, with the state recording second highest number of farmer suicides in 2016, IndiaSpend reported on May 8, 2018.
Uttarakhand, Odisha and Telangana saw nearly round-the-clock power supply to agriculture, according to Central Electricity Authority (CEA) of India’s March 2018 report. Poorer states such as Bihar and Chhattisgarh–at 18 hours a day–also fared better in supplying power to agriculture.
In 2016-17, agriculture–specifically, water pumping through irrigation pump sets–accounted for 40% of the state’s power consumption, according to data from the Karnataka Economic Survey 2017-18. Domestic (22%) and industrial (14%) consumption followed.
Irrigation–through pump sets–is imperative for the growth of the agricultural sector in the state, as 70% of cultivable land in Karnataka, as we said, is dependent on low and erratic rainfall.
Between June and September 2017, cumulative rainfall recorded in Karnataka was 774 millimetres (mm), as against a normal of 839 mm–a deficit of 8% with six districts falling under rainfall deficit category.
Tube/bore wells accounted for the 43% of the net irrigated area among all irrigational sources, followed by canals (29%) and dug wells (12%).
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