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Minority farmers are those farmers who belong to religious minority communities in India.  As per the National Minorities Act 1992, the religious minorities in India include Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, and Parsis.  As per the 2001 census, religious minorities constitute 18 percent of the population in India. 

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As in India, so in Karnataka state the size of minority population accounts for 17.86 percent (Source: Government of India-Report of the National Commission for religious and linguistic minorities may 2007).  As per the Socio-Economic and Educational survey of minorities 1994 conducted by Karnataka State minorities commission 49.96 percent of minorities resides in rural area whose major occupation is agriculture.

The below Table 1 gives the information on community wise total agricultural land held and irrigated by all sources.


Community wise total agricultural land held by minority farmers and irrigated area in Karnataka


Name of community

Land held(Acres)

Land irrigated (Acres)

Irrigated land in per cent of total land held







SC Converted christians





Non SC Christians





Digambar Jains





Shwethambar Jains
























Source: Socio-Economic and Educational Survey of Minorities 1994 by Karnataka State Minorities Commission 

It is evident from the above table that only 32 percent agriculture land of minority farmers has been irrigated by all sources.  The remaining 68 percent of agricultural land entirely depend on rain fall which is uncertain scanty and erratic in nature. Drought and Scarcity conditions are very common.  Due to this the minority farmers cannot increase their agricultural production and productivity and they are facing many economic hardships.  To reduce the economic hardships to raise the farm income of these farmers there is a necessity to provide irrigational facilities more particularly minor irrigation facility. Minor irrigation projects are more advantageous than major and medium irrigation projects because they require less capital and short gestation period. 

Minor irrigation schemes can irrigate the land less than 2000 hectares of land.  Minor irrigation schemes include ground water and surface water projects.  The ground water schemes include dug wells, shallow tube wells and pump sets and surface water from tanks and reservoirs to farms.  Though minor irrigation schemes are very advantageous when compared to major and medium irrigation projects, minority farmers are unable to take up minor irrigation schemes on their own due to poverty.  Without institutional support and financial assistance, it would be difficult to them to get strengthen.  In this back drop Karnataka Minorities Development Corporation Ltd which was set up in 1986 by the Government of Karnataka introduced minor irrigation scheme for minority farmers viz “Ganga KalyanaYojane” in Karnataka. 



Rationale behind the Study

Provision of irrigation facilities has been responsible for the increase in cropping intensity, change in cropping pattern and change in farm income.  Several research works have estimated the cost, returns and profits of individual crops in agricultural land where minor irrigation has been adopted.  But very limited research works have been carried out to analyze the impact of various minor irrigation programs on Socio-Economic conditions of farmers in and around the state.  Moreover, there are no studies which analyze the impact of minor irrigation scheme like Ganga KalyanaYojane on Socio-Economic conditions of religious minority farmers in Karnataka State.  This signifies the need of investigation.  Therefore an attempt is made to study the impact of Ganga Kalyana Scheme on cropping pattern of minority farmers in the study area.  This study is a part of minor research project sponsored by University Grants Commission on the title “Impact of Ganga Kalyana scheme of Karnataka Minorities Development Corporation Ltd on Socio-Economic conditions of minorities in Karnataka- A Case study of Chickmagalur District”, the study of which is in progress. 


The study was undertaken in two talukNarasimharajapura and Tarikere in chickmagalure district.  The study is based on both primary and secondary data.  For primary data the gramapanchayaths of both the taluks were divided in to North, South, East and West zones and then with the help of stratified random sampling total fifty respondents were selected and interviewed with the help of questionnaire.  Secondary data were collected from various books, Magazines, Journals, Reports of minorities commission, Head office and district office of KMDC Ltd, Directorate of economics and statistics and from various websites. 


 Though the study pertained to chickmagalore district it has covered only two taluks, Narasimharajapura and Tarikere and hence cannot be generalized to the entire district. ? The study covered the bore wells drilled under Ganga Kalyana Scheme from 2006-07 to 2011-12 only. ? Though Ganga Kalyana Scheme has two sub schemes of minor irrigation like community irrigation and individual bore well scheme, the present study covered only individual bore well scheme. 

Profile OfChickmagalure District

Chickmagalure is a district in the Indian state of Karnataka. The district is situated between 120541 4211 and 130 531 5311 north latitude and between 750 041 4611and 760 211 5011 east longitude.

                        The below table 2 gives the important information about the study area.


Table 2: The general information about the district is depicted as below.

Sl No


Chickmagalure District data.


Area (Sq. K.m)















Density of Population per Sq.k.m



Sex Ratio No of F/1000m



Literacy Ratio









07 Kadur, Chickmagalur, Tarikere, Mudigere, Koppa and N.R.Pura


Fallow Land

27836 Hectare


Area Sown

323635 Hectare


Major Agricultural Crops




Ragi, Paddy, Maize, Jowar


Sunflower ,Groundnut

Commercial crops

Cotton, Sugarcane


Coffee, Coconut, Arecanut, Rubber


Pepper, Cardamum, Ginger


Potato, Chilli, Tomato, Onion


Banana, Mango, Mandrins, Sapota


Languages Spoken

Kannada Official langugeUrde, Malayali, Tamil, Konkani


The community-wise break-up of Minority Population in India, as per 2001 census is given below table.                              Table – 3

Religious Minority Communities


% age of Minority Population



















Source: Census of India 2001.

Ganga KalyanaYojane:

Under the Ganga KalyanaYojane (GKY), the corporation offers two types of minor irrigation facilities, which are given below.

a.       Community Irrigation:

This scheme is to provide irrigation facility through lift irrigation scheme utilizing the perennial source of water (rivers) and lifting water through pipelines.

Wherever perennial water sources are not available, Bore wells are drilled underground, Submersible pump set well be installed and energisation for the bore well will be done by the corporation.  The beneficiaries should be small and marginal farmers and those who have totally 8 acres of land comprising 3 beneficiaries will get 2 Bore wells and 15 acres of land comprising of 5 beneficiaries will get 3 Bore wells, and each beneficiary should have 2 to 3 acres of land.  This scheme is entirely a subsidy scheme.

b.      Individual Bore well:

On the selection by the Competent Authority, under individual bore well scheme, for the beneficiary holding 2 to 5 acres of land, one bore well will be drilled and pump set will be supplied.  The total expenditure is Rs.1,00,000 (Grant of Rs. 86,000 and Loan of Rs. 14,000), this includes Energisation charges.  The corporation is allocating the physical and financial target based on allocation made in the budget and minority population.  The district manager of the concerned district invites the application through newspapers.  The received application will be scrutinized and District manager will place the proposal before the Taluq Committee headed by Concerned MLA of the constituency.  The committee will select the beneficiary and forward the proceedings to the head office.


1.      The Beneficiaries should belong to the religious minority communities as defined in the Government order.

2.      They should be permanent resident of Karnataka State.

3.      They should be small and marginal farmers.

4.      The annual income of the family should not exceed Rs.22, 000.

5.      They should be solely dependent on agriculture and should not have any other type of irrigational facility.

6.      The lift irrigation scheme will be implemented subject to unit cost of Ganga Kalyana Scheme and by prior permission of the irrigation department.




Table – 4. Showing the annual income of Respondents before adopting the Scheme.

Sl No

Income Level

No of Respondents



Less than 50000




50,000 to 1 lakh




1 Lakh to 2 Lakh




More than 2 Lakh







Source: Field Survey

 It is clear from the above table that all the respondents annual income falls less than Rs.50,000.


Figure -01









Table – 5showing the annual income of Respondents after adopting the Scheme.

Sl No

Income level

No of Respondents

Per centage


Less than 50,000




50,000 to 1 Lakh




1 Lakh to 2 Lakh




More than 2 Lakh







Source: Field Survey.

It is clear from the above table that gradual increase in the annual income of respondents after adopting Ganga Kalyana Scheme about 40% of respondents annual income is less than 50,000 per anaum and about 54 per cent respondent’s income falls between 50,000 to 1 Lakh per annaum and about 6 per cent of respondents income falls between 1 lakh to 2 lakh per annum.


Major findings of the study are given below.

It is observed in the study that before adopting the irrigation facility offered under the scheme, the average annual income of all the respondents in the study area was less than Rs, 50.000 per anaum. But after adopting the Ganga Kalyana Scheme irrigation in their land 54 per cent respondent’s income gradually increased up to  Rs. 1 lakh per anaum. Even 6 per cent respondents have said that their income per anaum has gone up to Rs. 2 lakh, in the study area, which enabled the farmers to meet at least their basic needs of the society.It is also observed from the study that  8 per cent of the respondents have opined that the Ganga Kalyana Scheme has not contributed anything to their income level, because of the low amount of water in the bore well and in some cases water will be their only during rainy season,  in summer borewell would be dried up and in some cases though they have got borewell in to their land  energisation has not been done, frequent repair of the pumpsets, load shedding of power problem etc. Whereas 92 per cent of the respondents have opined that the scheme has improve their standard of living and overall economic condition.


On the basis of the findings of the study the following suggestion have been made that would help to improve the working of Ganga Kalyana Scheme and to show positive impact on socio-economic conditions of minority farmers.

1.      The Scheme should be extended more to those farmers who belongs to the joint family. Because in joint families the size of dependents would be more. By providing irrigation we could make the dependents to work more in their own agricultural land which enhances their income level.

2.      Since majority of the minority farmers are illiterate and having only primary education, more attempts should be made to educate them about the various schemes and programmes offered by Central and State Government agencies to uplift the socio-economic conditions of farmers.

3.      The minority communities like Buddhists, Jain, Sikh are not benefiting from this scheme in the study area, either they do not have land, or they might have remain out of sampling population. But still the KMDC Ltd., should find out such farmers and motivate them to avail the benefit from such schemes like Ganga Kalyana Scheme.

4.      The corporation should take initiatives to the larger extentent to promote the scheme in those taluks where minority farmers are concentrated more in numbers. More number of bore wells should be allotted to each taluk so that none of the minority farmers should be uncovered under the scheme.

5.      The scheme should be extended to those farmers who have land even more than 5 acres up to 10 acres without any irrigation facilities, which can prevent further fragmentation of the land.

6.      In those cases where the bore wells are dried up during summer, rain water harvesting facilities should be arranged so that ground water level of such bore well point should have water across the year.

7.      The selection procedure of the farmers to cover under Ganga Kalyana Scheme should be transparent and fair enough.  An MLA who is the chairman of the selection committee would discriminate while choosing the farmers to avail the benefits from such scheme.  Hence he should be kept outside the selection authority so that fair and equitable justice can be done to all minority farmers.

8.      In many cases found in field survey though more amount of water has been got in bore wells small size of lengths or pipes have been installed.  That should not be done proper care should be taken while installing the pipes and pump sets.

9.      In most of the cases borewells have been drilled half a decade back, but still energisation has not been done. Therefore no delay should be made during the energisation of the borewell, otherwise purpose will not be served.

10.  The legal formalities which have to be fulfilled by the farmers to available benefit from such scheme should be simplified so that problems of middlemen, agents or broker’s role can be checked.

11.  Many marginal farmers of minority communities after getting the irrigation facility through the Ganga Kalyana Scheme, not able to grow commercial crops due to lack of fencing. The KMDC Ltd., has to make an arrangement to provide fencing to the lands at least where the bore wells are drilled in the lands of minority farmers.

12.  The good quality materials and equipments should be supplied to the borewell otherwise the agency which has supplied the equipments should be held responsible for any kind of damages of the borewell.

13.  The agricultural lands where bore wells are failed in getting the water under this scheme, should be given one more chance subsequently at the alternative points, so that justice can be done to such type of farmers.

14.  The KMDC Ltd. should have tie up with agriculture, horticulture, floriculture, departments to educate the farmers to grow more commercial and food crops in the available period based on land holding, since the supply of regular water is insured through adoption of Ganga Kalyana

15.  The very common complaint of the respondents interviewed with regard to the borewell was load shedding of  power to lift the water. And also till date many of the farmers though they have fertile land are unabled to get irrigation through scheme like Ganga Kalyana due to impossibility of electric supply. To overcome this and give the justice to minority farmers the KMDC Ltd., should have tie up with companies like Protonics systems India pvt ltd., Noida, Creative Engineers Ahamadabad and Tachometric Controls Pune which are offering solar pumpsets.

16.  The KMDC Ltd., has to increase the ceiling on income of the minority farmers while selecting them under Ganga Kalyana Scheme which is Rs. 22.000 per anaum at present.

17.  The KMDC Ltd., has to increase the target cost of Ganga KalyanaBorewell from existing Rs 1.00.000 to 2.00.000 so that the minority farmers should not face any problem in installing the pump set and energisation of their borewell. 

18.  The corporation has to start separate call centre to attend the grievances of minority farmers with regard to the energrsation , operation, maintence and other problems related to working of the borewell, so that efficiency of the bore well can be maintained.                    


    No doubt in order to uplift the socio-economic and educational conditions of religious minority communities in the national level and at the state level both the Central Government and the State Government have been introducing various schemes and progrmmes.  When Late Srimathi Indira Gandhi became the prime minister of this country, she shown her keen interest and concern on a vision of “Growth with Social Justice” and her slogan of “GaribiHatavo(Remove poverty)” became the guidelines for the affairs of the state.

    In “vision India 2020” by A.P.J.AbdulKalam and Y.S.Rajanhave said that “the vision for agricultural prosperity can be considered as a vision which uses all the advantages of agro-climatic and natural resources, with the use of right and continuous does of technology.”  The vision for minority farmers in agriculture is not different from that of other communities. The Government of Karnataka through its corporation viz.. “Karnataka minorities Development Corporation Ltd., has proved that it is committed to improve the socio-economic and educational states of minority farmers more particularly small and marginal farmers of minority communities it has implemented the minor irrigation scheme viz.. Ganga Kalayana Scheme.


This study has found in its findings that, the Ganga Kalyana Scheme adopted and implemented by the KMDC Ltd., definitely has an positive impact on the economiccondition of minority farmers, in the study area. Though there is a gradual increase in income level of minority farmers in the study area, the corporation should look in to the suggestions suggested under this study to improve the operation of Ganga Kalayana Scheme, and then only the study would serve its purpose.

    Lastly, this study also invite the kind attention of the farmers of the minority communities to organize themselves as self-help group, set up of farmers co-operative societies, village development societies (at village level) and urban development societies at taluk, district and state level to make organize efforts to participate in their socio-economic development with whatever help that comes from state or KMDC Ltd. Empowerment lies within, we need to have urge to empower ourselves, then only the welfare programmes of the state would have the meaning.

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