In Karnataka, agriculture is the major occupation for a majority of the rural population. As per the population Census 2011, agriculture supports 13.74 million workers, of which 23.61 percent are cultivators and 25.67 percent are agricultural workers. A total of 1,23,100 km sqare of land is cultivated in Karnataka constituting 64.6 % of the total geographical area of the state.
The agricultural sector of Karnataka is characterized by vast steppes of drought prone region and sporadic patches of irrigated area. Thus, a large portion of agricultural land in the state is exposed to the vagaries of monsoon with severe agro-climate and resource constraints.
Agricultural employs more than 60 per cent of Karnataka’s workforce. Agriculture in Karnataka is heavily dependent on the southwest monsoon. While only 26.50 per cent of the sown area (30,900 km sqare) is under irrigation, 64.60 per cent of the total geographical area is under cultivation. The state ranks fifth in India in terms of total area under horticulture. It stands fifth in production of vegetable crops and third in fruit crop production. It is also the largest producer of spices, aromatic and medicinal crops and tropical fruits. It is the second largest milk-producing state after Gujarat.
Karnataka is also the second largest producer of grapes in the country, and accounts for the production of 12 per cent of total fruits, 8 per cent of total vegetables and 70 per cent of coffee in the country. It is the third largest producer of sugar and ranks fourth in sugarcane production. In floriculture, Karnataka occupies the second position in India. Karnataka is the major silk producing state in the country.
Karnataka is known as the cradle of banking, Karnataka state is the mother of five leading Public Sector Banks, two Private sector Banks and many small Banks, Canara Bank, the convenor of the State Level Banker’s Committee, has lived up to the responsibility on its home turf. SLBC is monitoring the implementation of various schemes of Central and State Governments and Credit flow to various sectors.
The main crops grown are Rice, Ragi, Jowar (sorghum), maize, and pulses (Tur and gram) in addition to oilseeds and a number of other cash crops. Cashews, coconut, arecanut, cardamom, chillies, cotton, sugarcane and tobacco are also produced. Karnataka is the largest producer of coarse cereals, coffee, raw silk and tomatoes among the states in India. Horticultural crops are grown in an area of 16,300 km2 and the annual production is about 9.58 million tons. The income generated from horticulture constitutes over 40% of income generated from agriculture and it is about 17% of the state's GDP