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Haryana Agri Department Adds Poplar & Eucalyptus to Alternative Crops to Conserve Water

Dr. Pardeep Meel of the Kurukshetra DDA stated, "Previously, only the area under non-basmati paddy was covered, but the department has expanded its coverage by including the area under basmati crop as well." Farmers can benefit from the programme by switching to different crops."

Shivam Dwivedi
Eucalyptus Trees
Eucalyptus Trees

Haryana Agriculture Department has now included basmati paddy in the 'Mera Pani Meri Virasat' scheme, as well as poplar and eucalyptus trees in the list of alternative crops for diversification, in order to reduce the area under paddy crop in the state.

So far, only non-basmati paddy land has been covered by the scheme, and cotton, maize, arhar, moong, fodder vegetable, and oilseeds have been added to the list of alternative crops.

Under the Agriculture Department's initiative, farmers who switch to alternative crops receive a Rs 7,000 per acre incentive. In a letter to all Deputy Directors of Agriculture (DDAs) and Director Generals of Horticulture Department, the Director-General of Agriculture and Family Welfare Department stated that alternative crops under the Mera Pani Meri Virasat scheme 2022 will be registered in the area that was under basmati paddy last year.

With this new development, the deadline for registering under the scheme has been extended to July 31, up from June 30. The district-specific goals remain unchanged. The targets for Ambala and Kurukshetra were 5,041 and 3,090 acres, respectively.

"The scheme's goal is to save groundwater," said Rajiv Sharma, a spokesperson for the Ambala unit of the Bhartiya Kisan Union (Charuni). “Simultaneously, the government should provide an alternative crop having yield at par with paddy so that there is no financial loss to farmers. The trees will take around four years to mature.”

Dr. Pardeep Meel of the Kurukshetra DDA stated, "Previously, only the area under non-basmati paddy was covered, but the department has expanded its coverage by including the area under basmati crop as well." Farmers can benefit from the programme by switching to different crops."

He stated that the Agriculture Department had a target area of 1,840 acres out of the 3,090 acres available to the district. He added that 1,680 acres had been achieved and the remainder was with the Horticulture Department.

"The department has extended the deadline for the 'Mera Pani Meri Virasat' scheme and the field staff has been directed to make extra efforts to achieve the target," Ambala DDA Dr. Girish Nagpal said. Around 3,000 acres have been completed, with the remaining target to be completed in the coming days. He added that the staff would be working even on weekends to meet the deadline.

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