The Haryana government says it is exploring ways to increase the income of farmers in the State to ₹1 lakh and above an acre.
“We want to set a target of ensuring each of our 16 lakh farmers gets at least ₹1 lakh per acre of land. The total area under cultivation in the State is around 90 lakh acres,” said State Agriculture Minister Om Prakash Dhankar on the sidelines of the 3rd Agriculture Leadership Summit here on Sunday.
“Farmers growing certain crops are already getting such returns. Sugarcane farmers, for instance, earn more than ₹1 lakh per acre and so are those who go for the combination of rice, sunflower and potato. Even those farmers who grow vegetables on their fields are able to earn such income levels. But farmers who follow the rice-wheat cropping cycle, on the other hand, get only around ₹75,000. The returns are similarly low for those farmers go for cotton and wheat combination as well as bajra and mustard combination,” Dhankar said, adding that the government may have to do something to lift the income levels of those whose returns are still poor.
According to Dhankar, the government has been trying to protect farmers in the State from three types of risks – risks associated with inputs, climate change as well as those linked to market. Bhavantar Bharpai Yojana (which the State government launched in January this year to pay farmers of onions, potatoes, tomatoes and cauliflower price differential between market price and minimum support price) and the extension of MSP to most crops have helped protect farmers from market risk.
It has increased disaster compensation to ₹12,000 per acre, which is the highest in the country, Dhankar said. “In the last three years, we have distributed over ₹3,000 crore to farmers on account of schemes meant for protecting farmers against these risks,” he said.
Also, the government has been creating awareness among farmers, particularly those who have their fields not very far from cities to take up cultivation of crops that are in demand in these urban areas. “Farmers should take advantage of geographical proximity to these urban areas by growing what is in demand in these cities. That is why we have decided to make peri-urban agriculture a major theme at the summit,” he said.
“They should not only grow those horticultural crops, but also should find ways and means to sell them in mandis directly so that they can earn more by avoiding middlemen,” he added.