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Why are farmers protesting against restrictions on paddy cultivation i...

  Jun 17, 2020

Why are farmers protesting against restrictions on paddy cultivation in Haryana? What are the government’s objectives behind this?

  1. The Haryana government had recently launched ‘Mera Pani Meri Virasat’ scheme, aimed at crop diversification to move away from water-guzzling paddy. 
  2. Under the scheme, farmers sowing alternative crops other than paddy during the ensuing kharif season will get an incentive of ₹7,000 per acre.
  3. Eight paddy-rich blocks including Ratia, Siwan, Guhla, Pipli, Shahabad, Babain, Ismailabad and Sirsa, where the depth of groundwater level exceeds 40 metres, are included in this scheme.
  4. But, several farmers staged a tractor march in Haryana’s Fatehabad against the state government’s decision to restrict paddy (rice) cultivation to a few areas in the State and they have sought its immediate withdrawal.
  5. Farmers have started a ‘Kisan Bacho-Kheti Bachao’ campaign and under this over 2,000 farmers from around 50 villages of Ratia block today marched on their tractors towards the Deputy Commissioner’s office to register their protest against the State government’s decision of imposing restriction on paddy sowing.
  6. They demand that the farmer should be let to decide what is to be sown in the field.
  7. They argue that the government is asking farmers to sow alternative crop such as maize, but soil and climate is not conducive in most parts of the block. 
  8. Besides, the compensation offered is absolutely inadequate. Farmers want the government to immediately withdraw its decision.
  9. Last year, the total paddy area of these eight blocks was 2,06,000 hectares, however, this year the government is aiming that to replace 50% of the area (1,03,000 hectares) with alternative crops, including maize, cotton, millet, and pulses.