Cotton growers in 17 districts of Haryana, who had diversified from paddy under the Mera Pani – Meri Virasat scheme during Kharif 2020, will soon receive their first instalment of incentive at the rate of Rs 2,000 per acre directly into their bank accounts.
“A total of Rs 10.21 lakh will be disbursed to such farmers as the first instalment through direct benefits transfer mode after completion of physical verification process by officials of the department. A total of 20,420 hectares (of land) was verified to have been diversified from paddy to cotton in Sirsa, Fatehabad, Jind, Hisar, Kaithal, Jhajjar, Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri, Sonepat, Rohtak, Faridabad, Palwal, Rewari, Mewat, Gurugram, Panipat and Karnal districts,” said Sanjeev Kaushal, Additional Chief Secretary (Agriculture).
Kaushal added, “Cotton growers in Sirsa district would be the biggest beneficiaries under the scheme, with more than Rs 2.26 crore to be distributed amongst them for opting to sow the cash crop in 4,523 hectares. Farmers in Fatehabad and Jind districts would also get incentives totalling more than Rs 1.98 crore and Rs 1.97 crore, respectively, for cultivating cotton in 3,966 hectares and 3,945 hectares, respectively.”
“Mera Pani – Meri Virasat scheme had been implemented in an effort to conserve the depleting groundwater table in the state. Farmers in water-stressed Ratia (district Fatehabad), Siwan and Guhla (district Kaithal), Pipli, Shahabad, Babain and Ismailabad (district Kurukshetra) and Sirsa (district Sirsa) blocks, where the groundwater level is below 40 metres, were being encouraged to cultivate alternative crops, including maize, bajra, cotton, pulses and horticultural crops,” he said.
The state government had promised to pay Rs 7,000 per acre for diversified crop, of which the first instalment of Rs 2,000 per acre would be paid after verification and the remaining Rs 5,000 per acre when the crop is in the maturing stage, Kaushal added.
“To facilitate the farmers, all diversified crops such as maize, bajra, and pulses would be procured by the state government at minimum support price (MSP). The gram panchayats would not permit paddy growing in agricultural lands owned by them, and applicable financial benefits in lieu of diversification from paddy to alternative crops would be provided to the respective panchayats. State government would also install maize dryer at related grain markets for reducing the moisture content of maize grain produced by the farmers. Farmers would also be provided 85 per cent subsidy for installation of drip irrigation system in the alternative diversified crops, he added.
The department would promote mechanisation by providing pneumatic or normal maize seed planter for the sowing of maize in the targeted blocks for diversification of paddy through its schemes and custom hiring centres, Kaushal said.
Information regarding the implementation of crop diversification programme would be provided through IEC (information, education and communication) activities in the field for awareness of the farmers. A dedicated web portal has been launched for the convenience of the farmers. As many as 41 demonstration plots have been established in the targeted blocks for showing best agriculture practices to the farmers for getting a good yield of their crop.
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