Tribune News Service
Kurukshetra, May 10
The government has toughened its stance on paddy growers in eight blocks where the water table is deeper than 40 metres.
Farmers have to diversify at least 50 per cent of the area under paddy by growing alternative crops. Farmers who cultivate alternative crops on less than 50 per cent of their area in the target blocks will not be eligible for incentive of Rs 7,000 per acre.
In case of such farmers, paddy will not be procured by state government agencies. These farmers will not get any subsidy from the Agriculture Department.
The state government has launched “Mera Paani, Meri Virasat” scheme for replacement of paddy with maize, cotton, bajra and pulses on 1 lakh hectares in target blocks of Fatehabad, Kaithal, Kurukshetra and Sirsa districts.
The target blocks are Ratia, Siwan, Guhla, Pipli, Shahabad, Babain, Ismailbad, and Sirsa, having 1,79,951 hectares area under paddy cultivation.
To improve the water table, the government has decided to give an incentive of Rs 7,000 per acre for diversification. Only those farmers who diversify over 50 per cent of the area under paddy for the last kharif season will be eligible.
Farmers operating with 50-hp electric motor will not be allowed to grow paddy. The government has decided to restrict cultivation of paddy in Thanesar and Pehowa blocks of Kurukshetra and Fatehabad and Jakhal blocks of Fatehabad, having 3,136 hectares under paddy with water table deeper than 35 metres.
“The government has launched the scheme to check the depleting water table. All-out efforts will be made to achieve the target of crop diversification,” said Pradeep Meel, Deputy Director, Agriculture.
“Similar incentives were announced last year and farmers were to be given Rs 2,000 per acre, but no money was given. There are flooded areas where no crop except paddy can be cultivated. The BJP and JJP should ask its farmer cells to adopt the scheme and stop growing paddy. Subsidy on drip irrigation should be increased to 95 per cent,” said Gurnam Singh Charuni, BKU (Charuni) chief.
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