new Delhi. Due to the monsoon season this year, farmers are expected to reap good yields in the Kharif season this year, but due to lack of laborers in Punjab and Haryana, the main producing states of food grains in the country, for sowing of other crops instead of paddy Farmers are being encouraged.
It is estimated that the area under paddy will be reduced by about four lakh hectares this year, including both the states. The Punjab government has set a target of reducing paddy acreage from 23 lakh hectares last year to 20 lakh hectares this year. At the same time, the Haryana government has set a target of reducing the acreage of one lakh hectares of paddy.
The governments of both the provinces are placing special emphasis on the crop diversification program under which farmers are being asked to replace crops with more water requirement. For this, the Haryana government is giving incentives at the rate of Rs 7000 per acre to farmers for planting a second crop instead of paddy.
Agricultural experts point out that every year laborers from Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh used to come at the time of transplanting and harvesting of paddy, but this year workers are not expected to come due to corona virus infection. That is why in Punjab and Haryana instead of paddy Emphasis is being laid on sowing of other crops.
Punjab Agricultural Director S. K. Ari says that crop diversification is encouraging the cultivation of maize or cotton instead of paddy. He said, "The main reason for this is that the ground water level is going down here. In such a situation, emphasis is being laid on reducing paddy cultivation, which requires more water."
In Punjab, however, the emphasis is on increasing basmati cultivation. The Agriculture Director said that last year, where the area under basmati was 6.30 lakh hectares, the target is to increase it to seven lakh hectares this year. At the same time, the area under maize is targeted to be increased from 1.60 lakh hectare last year to three lakh hectare this year. While the area of paddy is being reduced from 23 lakh to 20 lakh hectare. The area under cotton in Punjab has increased to 4.80 lakh hectare from 3.92 lakh hectare last year and the government wants to take it to five lakh hectare.
The problem of going down the ground water level is also in Haryana, on which the government is paying attention to crop diversification. However, Haryana Agriculture Department official R. P. Sihag says that the lack of laborers is also one of the reasons why farmers are being encouraged to cultivate vegetables along with maize, millet, pulses and other crops instead of paddy.
Sihag said that farmers are taking interest in planting another crop instead of paddy. He told that the need of laborers is also high for cotton, so farmers are planting maize, millet and other crops. The area under paddy in Haryana was around 1.3 million hectares last year.
This post was published on June 11, 2020 3:02 am
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