Haryana offers reward to move away from water guzzling crops, but is it good enough for farmers?

By: |
Updated: May 8, 2020 2:25:59 PM

Haryana has started to take steps towards solving the age-old water problem with the state disincentivizing sowing of water-intensive paddy crops.

The state government’s announcements may not woo farmers away from paddy as farmers need more incentives to shift to pulses and oil seeds. (Image: Reuters)

Haryana has started to take steps towards solving the age-old water problem with the state disincentivizing sowing of water-intensive paddy crops. The Haryana government has recently announced “Mera Pani Meri Virasat” scheme and said that it will provide Rs 7,000 per acre to the farmers to push them towards cultivating less water guzzling crops such as maize and pulses instead. The government also said that it will buy maize and pulses at minimum support price (MSP) to aid the growing of these crops. However, the state government’s announcements may not woo farmers away from paddy as farmers need more incentives to shift to pulses and oil seeds, Chaudhary Pushpendra Singh, President Kisan Shakti Sangh, told Financial Express Online. 

“The government must increase the incentive of Rs 7,000 substantially to actually make farmers shift to other crops. If the government increases the incentive to Rs 20,000 per acre and also raises the MSP by 15-20%, farmers could be swayed towards sowing crops which are less water guzzling. Also, the government must ensure that these crops are purchased after asking farmers to grow them,” he said. Apart from helping Haryana’s depleting water table, growing coarse food grain, oil seeds and pulses also have numerous other benefits such as less pollution due to crop burning, providing cattle feed via oil cakes, resolving India’s dependence on import of edible oil, and fixing nitrogen in soil. To make up for all those benefits, farmers must be heavily compensated, he added.

In states such as Haryana and Punjab, the growing of paddy has always been under scanner as this crop needs massive water input for production, leaving these states water deficit. Producing a kg of rice consumes 2,000-5,000 litre water, Haryana agriculture and farmers’ welfare department said in its crop diversification scheme. While water is a big issue in Haryana, farmers tend to take up rice for sowing as the government ensures minimum support price. 

Do you know What is Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR), Finance Bill, Fiscal Policy in India, Expenditure Budget, Customs Duty? FE Knowledge Desk explains each of these and more in detail at Financial Express Explained. Also get Live BSE/NSE Stock Prices, latest NAV of Mutual Funds, Best equity funds, Top Gainers, Top Losers on Financial Express. Don’t forget to try our free Income Tax Calculator tool.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1Bankruptcy resolution: In IBC, liquidation an overwhelming outcome rather than revival
2Nationwide lockdown may shrink India’s GDP by this much in Q1; SBI gives hope for Q2
3COVID-19: Trump thinks in-person G7 summit would be great example of reopening, says White House