Introduced new crop diversification scheme
Haryana Agriculture Minister, Mr. Jai Parkash Dalal while thanking farmers of the state said that despite facing many problems in this hour of COVID-19, the brave farmers of Haryana have played a pivotal role in ensuring that there are adequate food grain stocks for both the Nation and the State. The entire Nation is grateful to the farmers. He said that the present State Government is farmer-friendly and has always implemented several welfare schemes in their interest.
Advising Congress leaders to desist from political mongering in this hour of COVID-19 crisis, the Minister, while addressing a press conference here today, said that rather than making misleading statements, all must unite to face this pandemic. However, it seems that Congress leaders’ sole purpose is to criticize the State Government’s welfare policies.
Coming down heavily on Congress leaders Randeep Singh Surjewala and Kumari Selja for their recent media statements questioning the State Government’s exclusive 'Mera Pani Meri Virasat' scheme aimed to conserve water, Mr. J.P Dalal said that such statements made by these Congress leaders have clearly exposed their political immaturity and dubious motives.
Taking a jibe at both Congress leaders for indulging in ‘doublespeak’, the Agriculture Minister said that such statements clearly indicated the fact that Congress leaders were unhappy with the commendable work done by the present State Government in the public interest. He said that Congress which today is pretending to be farmers’ well-wisher had not implemented any such scheme during their tenure.
Meanwhile, divulging more details about ‘Mera Pani Meri Virasat' Scheme, the Agriculture Minister said that the government has introduced a new crop diversification scheme 'Mera Pani Meri Virasat' to cultivate maize, cotton, millet, and pulses in place of paddy on an area measuring one lakh hectares. Under this scheme, farmers sowing alternative crops other than paddy during this season will get an incentive of Rs 7,000 per acre. He informed that eight paddy-rich blocks including Ratia, Siwan, Guhla, Pipli, Shahabad, Babain, Ismailabad and Sirsa, where the depth of groundwater level exceeds 40 meters, would be included in this scheme. Last year, the total paddy area of these 8 blocks was 2,06,000 hectares, however, this time 50 percent of the area i.e. 1,03,000 hectares will be replaced with alternative crops, he added. He further informed that high productivity maize hybrid seed companies will be empanelled by the department and farmers would be able to buy seeds from them. He said that only those companies whose production capacity of seeds would be more than 25 quintals per acre would be empanelled. For this, companies will set up demonstration farms in every block.
Farmers other than the targeted 8 blocks would also be eligible for availing benefits under this Crop Diversification scheme if they replace their paddy area by alternate crops. Such farmers have to apply and submit details of revenue record pertaining to paddy cultivation with the condition that no new area has come under paddy cultivation, the Minister shared.
The Agriculture Minister informed that about 10,000 hectares out of targeted 1 lakh hectare land has been reserved for cultivation of horticultural crops. To promote horticulture, subsidy would be given on the seeds for horticultural plants.
He informed that even during the COVID-19 Pandemic, by increasing the number of mandis the procurement process was conducted hassle-free so as to insure that farmers do not have to travel long distances to bring their produce to the Mandis during the Rabi season 2020. As many as 1831 procurement centers have been established for Wheat and 162 for Mustard. So far, 604.77 lakh quintal of Wheat and 54.20 lakh quintal of Mustard have been procured in the Mandis. This purchase has been made in a very short span of time. The procurement of Wheat has taken place in only 20 days, whereas the opposition made tall claims that the State Government would not be able to buy Wheat even in three months, the Minister asserted.
He said that during the year 2018-19, the total food grain production in the state was 181.44 lakh metric tonne, whereas in the year 2013-14 during the regime of the previous government this figure was only 153.54 lakh metric tonne.
While comparing present State Government’s work done in the interest of farmers as against that done by the previous government, the Agriculture Minister said that to meet the risk of farmers in Kharif crop, in 2016 the State Government had launched Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana in Haryana, covering millet, paddy, cotton, maize, wheat, gram, wheat, mustard and sunflower crops. Till now 50.37 lakh farmers have been registered under the scheme and Rs, 825.69 crore has been taken as premium from 12.09 lakh farmers, while an amount of Rs. 2546.96 crore has been paid as insurance money, he informed. Even at that time this scheme had been strongly opposed by the Congress, the Agriculture Minister said.
He said that during the tenure of the previous government the insurance benefits were provided under the following schemes i.e National Agricultural Crop Insurance Scheme, Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme and Revised National Agricultural Crop Insurance Scheme, which were limited to a few blocks/ districts. During the Congress tenure (2005-06 to 2013-14) only 12.53 lakh farmers were registered and only 4.20 lakh farmers were given the benefit of this scheme with an amount of Rs.164.30 crore only.
He said that for disaster management during (2014-15 to 2019-20), an amount of Rs. 2764.93 crore was disbursed by the Haryana government as compensation amount to the farmers, whereas during previous Government’s tenure (2005-06 to 2013-14) only Rs. 827.01 crore was disbursed as compensation amount.
The Agriculture Minister further informed that to strengthen the farmers financially in the year 2019, the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Yojana was started, under which every year an amount of Rs.6000 is being deposited online in the accounts of the farmers. Under this scheme, Rs. 1362.36 crore has been deposited in the accounts of about 16.53 lakh farmers, whereas during tenure of Congress no such scheme was implemented in the interest of farmers.
He informed that under various schemes, power subsidy of Rs. 6856.02 crore was released to the farmers in the year 2019-20, while in previous government’s tenure it was Rs 4853.40 crore during the year 2013-14.
The Minister shared that with a view to promote Micro Irrigation, 85 percent subsidy has been given by the present State Government. So far 1.08 lakh hectare area has been covered under Micro Irrigation upto 2019-20 as against 66,808 hectare before 2014-15.
During the media interaction, Agriculture Minister also gave detailed information about other schemes being run by the present government such as horticulture, purchasing of crops, improving groundwater etc.