Ambala, July 9
To reduce the acreage under paddy cultivation in the state, the Department of Agriculture has now included basmati paddy under the ‘Mera Pani Meri Virasat’ scheme and has also included poplars and eucalyptus trees in the list of alternative crops for diversification.
Until now, only non-basmati rice areas were covered by the program and crops namely cotton, maize, arhar, moong, fodder vegetables and oilseeds were included in the list of crops. alternatives.
An incentive of Rs 7,000 per acre is given to farmers who switch to alternative crops under the Department of Agriculture initiative.
The Director General of the Department of Agriculture and Family Welfare, in a letter to all Deputy Directors of Agriculture (DDAs), and the Directors General of the Department of Horticulture suggested that alternative crops under the Mera Pani Meri Virasat 2022 program will also be recorded in the region, which was under basmati rice last year.
With this new development, the deadline for registration under the program has been extended to July 31, whereas previously it was June 30.
District-specific goals remain the same. Ambala and Kurukshetra were given a target of 5,041 acres and 3,090 acres, respectively.
Bhartiya Kisan Union (Charuni) Ambala unit spokesman Rajiv Sharma said, “The aim of the program is to conserve groundwater. At the same time, the government should provide an alternative crop with a yield equal to that of paddy so that there is no financial loss for the farmers. The trees will take about four years to mature.
Kurukshetra DDA Dr Pardeep Meel said, “Previously only the area under non-basmati paddy was covered, but now the department has increased its coverage by including the basmati cultivation area as well. Farmers can take advantage of the program by switching to alternative crops.
He said of the 3,090 acres available with the district, the targeted area for the Department of Agriculture was 1,840 acres. Of this area, 1,680 acres had been reached and the rest belonged to the horticulture department, he added.
Ambala DDA, Dr. Girish Nagpal said, “The department has extended the deadline for the ‘Mera Pani Meri Virasat’ program and field staff have been instructed to make extra efforts to achieve the target.”
An area of approximately 3,000 acres has been reached and the remaining target would be reached within the next few days. Staff would even work on weekends to meet the target, he added.