Karnataka Cabinet decides to take up App-based crop survey

Bengaluru: The Karnataka cabinet has decided to take up ‘app based crop survey‘ in an organised way to ascertain the exact acreage under various crops in the state during both kharif and rabi seasons, Rural development minister Krishna Byre Gowda said yesterday.

The minister said Rs 90 crore has been approved for this purpose. Byre Gowda noted that as per NITI Ayog, no other state in the country has taken up such accurate crop survey. “Under this crops being cultivated by farmers in about 2.20 crore plots in the state will be surveyed using a mobile based app which is GPS enabled and the updating has to be done by visiting that specific plot, also uploading photos,” the minister said.

The survey will result in government having actual information on acreage under various crops that can be used while claiming relief from the Centre during natural calamities like drought or floods, he told reporters after the cabinet meeting. Private surveyors, who are at least tenth pass, will be used for the survey and they would be paid Rs 10 per farmer’s plot.

Gowda pointed out that crop survey has been done during the last 2 years on a preliminary basis. Other decisions taken by the cabinet Friday include approval for the state’s share of Rs 546 crore for this year under the Raita Suraksha Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana and tender process that have taken place for ten clusters under this programme for both kharif and rabi seasons.

All preparations were on to implement the programme by the agriculture and horticulture departments, he said. The cabinet also discussed the demand for increasing reservation for Scheduled Tribes from 3 per cent to 7.5 per cent in jobs and education sector. The chief secretary has been asked examine the ways to do it and modalities that need to be followed and provide information during the next cabinet meeting, the minister said.

“Whether a committee has to be formed or a commission has to be formed to do it- is one matter. The second is as there is 50 per cent bar on reservation, whether it can be done within the limit or can we cross that limit and its effects.. all these matters will be examined by chief secretary, based on which we will go ahead,” he said.

On government’s decision to go in for cloud seeding, the minister said preparations were on and certain approvals were awaited from the central government and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). It is likely to be taken up by second week of July, according to the minister. “Mysuru and Hubbali will be two centres for cloud seeding from where aircraft for this purpose will operate, and seeding will be based on availability of clouds,” he added.