13 September 2020, Chandigarh: Haryana Agriculture Minister, Mr. Jai Prakash Dalal said that the state government will protect the interests of farmers. The Opposition parties are trying to mislead the farmers but the farmer of the state is aware and sensible and will not get misled by them, he added.
The Agriculture Minister, Mr. Dalal said that the Central Government has implemented three new ordinances in the interest of farmers which will benefit the farmers to a great extent. Farmers have been given exemption on sale of crops and MSP will not be reduced in any way, he assured.
On the pattern of One Nation, One Market, now the farmers will be free to sell their produce in any state. This will enable barrier-free inter-state trade of agricultural produce. Moreover, farmers will not be compelled to take their produce to the market.
It has been decided to remove items like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, edible oils, onions and potatoes from the list of essential commodities by amending the Essential Commodities Act, 1956. With this decision, freedom to produce, store, transport and distribute would make it possible to produce on a large scale.
Freedom to buy and sell goods
The Central Government has also approved the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020. This ordinance will give farmers the freedom to buy and sell goods on the basis of equality without fear of exploitation. A big step has been taken towards one country one market for agricultural products.
The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020 allows farmers to sell their produce to any person or institution in the country. Now, it will justly be on the lines of One Nation, One Market.
While presenting the detailed data, the Minister said that the production of food grains in the year 2013-14 was 153.54 lakh metric tonnes, it rose to 181.44 lakh metric tonnes in 2018-19 due to timely availability of seed manure, pesticides and adequate quantity of canal water. Furthermore, an amount of only Rs 164.30 crore was given to the farmers from the year 2005 to 2014 in the name of crop insurance in the state, while the present state government proved that it is farmer friendly government by giving Rs 2545.96 crore to the farmers during the years 2016 to 2019.
Talking about sugarcane production, the average crushing of sugarcane in the state till 2014 was 437.24 lakh quintals, which has increased to 645.31 lakh MT in the year 2018-19. The average production of sugarcane from the year 2005 to 14 was 48 lakh quintals, increased during the years 2014 to 2019 to 66.45 lakh tonnes after the present state government came to power.
He said that if we talk about the power surcharge waiver scheme, by February 2020, the present state government has waived off surcharge worth Rs 23.79 crore for 1,11,877 consumers. Similarly, in the year 2013-14, the farmers received a benefit of Rs 4853.40 crore in the form of power subsidy, while in the year 2019-20, a benefit of Rs 6856.02 crore has been received. From year 2014 to 2020, 21 new grain mandis have been constructed in the state and 11 new vegetable markets have been built so that farmers are able to sell their crops and vegetables without facing any problems.
Government policy to encourage agriculture sector
Sharing details of milk production, Agriculture Minister Mr. Dalal informed that in the year 2013, 74.42 lakh tonnes of milk was produced in the state, whereas in 2018-19, 107.28 lakh tonnes of milk has been produced. In terms of per capita availability, in the year 2013, there was 800 gram availability, which has increased to 1,087 gram in 2018-19.
Likewise, to promote animal husbandry for the benefit of farmers, the Pashu Kisan Credit Card Scheme has been started. The Pashu Kisan Credit Cards have been distributed among 5,000 farmers in the state while the Pashu Kisan Credit Cards of 52,000 farmers have been approved by the bank. Moreover, 86 lakh Soil Health Cards have been made in the state.
Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs) have been set up to provide agricultural implements to farmers. Pond Authority has been established in the state and FPOs have been formed. Under the Pashudhan Bima Yojana, 2.72 lakh animals have been insured in the state and around 50 lakh animals have been vaccinated in the state during the corona period.
He said that the government has also encouraged animal husbandry and agriculture as well as fish farming. The state currently has a production of 166794.40 MT of fish. He further added that around 10,332 farmers are directly associated with fish farming business in the state, while 12,168 farmers are indirectly involved in fish farming along with other business. He said that Haryana is the first state in the country to provide 100 per cent subsidy across half the state on drip irrigation.
About 85 per cent subsidy is being given in the remaining area. Out of the 20 lakh crore relief package, the central government has sanctioned Rs 2.5 lakh crore for Kisan Credit Card. Meanwhile, the Agriculture Minister also listened to the problems of people and directed the officers concerned to resolve them.