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HARYANA Govt initiative to save groundwater falls flat in Haryana

July 11, 2018 05:50 AM


Neeraj Mohan neeraj.mohan@hindustantimes.com
Govt initiative to save groundwater falls flat in Haryana

KARNAL : The Haryana government’s initiative to save groundwater by promoting ‘direct seeding of rice’ (DSR) has fallen flat as the project could not be approved under Rashtirya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) this year to provide incentives to farmers adopting this technique.

Due to the lack of financial support from the Centre, the Haryana agriculture department did not make any efforts to convince the farmers for adopting this technique which takes 40% less water than the traditional method.

As per the officials in the state agriculture department, the DSR method was part of RKVY and the state government for the past five years.

The state government used to provide seed, fertilisers, weedicides and cash incentives of about Rs 3,000 per acre to the farmers for adopting the technique. Even the government managed to increase the area under DSR to around 32,000 acres, by fixing a target of 4,000 acres in major paddy sowing districts of Karnal, Kaithal, Kurukshetra, Jind and Yamunanagar.

But there were no takers of this technique this year for lack of assistance from the government and the area under DSR remains below 6,000 acres.

“This year, there was no campaign for the DSR method, following which the acreage under DSR in Karnal district, has declined to only 250 acres against 2,000 acres last year. The district has a total of about 1.70 lakh hectares under paddy,” said an official of the agriculture department.

In Kurukshetra district, which has been declared as the dark zone by the state government, only 500 acres out of 1.17 lakh hectares of paddy are under the DSR method against 1,600 last year. In Kaithal, which has about 1.54 lakh hectares under paddy this year, the area under the DSR method is likely to remain below 1,000 acres against the 1,500 acres last year.

However, the officials in the agriculture department said, “The DSR method was best ever initiative of the government to save ground water and it also helps farmers to grow paddy in areas where ground water has reached an alarming stage. But this year, there is no provision to provide incentives to farmers adopting this technique”.

The officials said besides saving 50% groundwater, this technique also helps in saving up to 27% diesel, cut labour charges, besides enhancing fertiliser efficiency due to placement of fertilisers in the root zone and causing little disturbance to soil structure. When contacted JS Brar, additional director of the agriculture department, said, “This year the DSR method could not be approved under the RKVY, but the state government was working on this technology for the past five years.

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