Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar exhorts farmers to adopt crop diversification
Chandigarh, May 29 (UNI) Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Wednesday exhorted the farmers to adopt crop diversification and sow crops consuming less water like maize, arhar etc instead of water-guzzling crops such as paddy to conserve water.
The Chief Minister said that a target of 50,000 hectares has been fixed in seven selected blocks for motivating the farmers to grow maize and arhar and assured that each and every grain of farmer’s diversified crop produced in these blocks would be procured by the state government.
Stating this after launching the ‘Jal Hi Jeevan Hai’ scheme here, Mr Khattar also announced to include Saha block under the ambit of the scheme. The other seven blocks in which the scheme is being implemented included Assandh (Karnal), Pundri (Kaithal), Narwana (Jind), Thanesar (Kurukshetra), Ambala-1, Radaur (Yamunanagar) and Ganaur (Sonipat).
He released a booklet entitled ‘Fasal Vividhikaran Pilot Yojana’ and also launched the theme song of the scheme. On this occasion, the Chief Minister interacted with five farmers each of the seven blocks through video conferencing and sought their suggestion for the scheme which aims to conserve water by sowing other than paddy crop and minimizing use of water through tubewells.
Mr Khattar said that a condition would be imposed on the sowing of paddy on the Panchayat Land as well as on government land from next year as per which only direct sowing of paddy would be allowed on this land as it saves water. He said that with a view to encourage farmers towards other crops like maize and arhar, farmers would be provided Rs 2000 per acre. While Rs 200 would be given at the time of registration, remaining Rs 1800 would be given later.
Apart from this, hybrid seeds would also be provided to them free of cost. An arrangement of 70 quintal seeds per hectare has been made by the Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare department for this purpose.
He said that with a view to ensure that farmers do not face any difficulty in sowing of maize; directions have been issued to the department to make available required machinery for the same. Similarly, arrangement of Drying machines would also be made so that farmers could achieve the permissible moisture content before selling the produce in the mandis.
He said that for the convenience of farmers, the produce of the farmers of these selected blocks would be procured in all small and big mandis of the area. He said that department officers have been instructed to visit villages in these blocks and apprise the people about this scheme so that maximum people could achieve its benefit.
Expressing concern over the depleting level of under ground water, the Chief Minister said that it is our collective responsibility to save water for our future generations. He said that over exploitation of natural resources could be dangerous for the mankind. The water level in areas like Mahendergarh has gone down to 700 to 800 feet, which is an alarming situation, he added.
He said that in several countries, there is a complete ban on exploiting under ground water. He said that besides the farmers, he would also make an appeal to other sections of the society to save water.
Earlier, speaking on this occasion Chief Secretary Mr D.S Dhesi said that this scheme is a historical step which would not only prove beneficial to Haryana but also set an example for the country. He also exhorted the Deputy Commissioners, officers of the Agriculture department to make all out efforts for the successful implementation of the scheme. He also thanked the Chief Minister, saying that the scheme is the result of his far sighted approach.
Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department Navraj Sandhu said that applications from 5,605 farmers have been received under the scheme covering 2720 hectares of land. She said that there is a tremendous response among the farmers towards the scheme. She said that the amount of insurance premium of crop under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana would also be borne by the state government.