Agriculture: Emulate Successful Practices

According to a media report, farmers in Haryana have registered a record yield of wheat production at 46.14 quintals per hectare in Rabi season of 2008-09 that is higher than that of Punjab that got a yield of 45 quintal per hectare in the corresponding year. And if we look into the reasons of the yield increase, they are

1. Farmers are buying certified seeds.

2. Farmers have introduced land levellers that has helped them getting a uniform produce and less requirement of water saving about 30 per cent-40 per cent of water.

3. Farmers are getting subsidy on rotavator, zero tillage seed driller and fertilizer machines that helped them raise their productivity.

Farmers of Haryana must target their yield to the yield of France that is at 6,700 kg per hectare. A taskforce comprising the progressive farmers and the scientists can visit France and find out how France is doing that and what Haryana farmers can’t do. Can the government help to bridge the gap?

The farmers believe there is scope for increase of 30 per cent yield with better variety of seeds and irrigation facilities.

However, I wonder why other states and particularly the region with facilities of irrigation and fertile land such as Bihar, UP and even West Bengal can’t attain the yield of Haryana.

Unfortunately, the state governments and even the scientists of the state agriculture universities are hardly interested in extending the helping hands to the farmers.

If Gujarat can bring the scientists and farmers on one platform, why can’t other states do that?

If Gujarat can give soil health cards to all farmers that carry the detail of the quality of land that helps in deciding the input amount and types of fertilizers and nutrients, why can’t other states emulate?

If Gujarat can have separate connections for irrigation pumps for ensuring uninterrupted power for agriculture purpose, why can’t other states also follow the practice?

If Gujarat can build almost a lakh check dams to raise the groundwater table, why can’t other states with water scarcity look into a similar or better solution?

The former President Kalam recently gave a detail roadmap for water management in Bihar that suffers from drought as well as flood.

I have suggested to Bihar Assembly to mitigate Bihar from the fury of the floods it will be essential to undertake the following measures.

(a) Recovering the all the water bodies from encroachments using satellite maps.

(b) All the village ponds be immediately de-silted along with clearance of inlet and outlet and revived in the Gangetic basin.

(c) Carrying out the dredging of the rivers from the center so that the riverbed is below the adjoining land area.

(d) Raising the protection wall for the wells slightly above the normal flood water level so that the debris does not fill the wells during floods and drinking water is available immediately after the floods.

(e) Creating check dams so that water can be retained in the drought prone southern Bihar.

If a government can’t act on Kalam’s advice, how can it act on some from me? Why can’t the state government get up from the Kumbhkaran-like slumber? When will the government understand that loan waivers, subsidies, and increasing minimum support prices of basic crops will not make farming viable? The government will have to put money in providing irrigation facilities and its management.

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