A project of Rs 27 crore is being prepared to promote the cultivation of millets, said Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar while presenting the state budget for 2023-24.
The state government has also set a target of 20,000 acres of land for the adoption of natural farming in the state, said Khattar in the state assembly here.
While tabling the fourth budget of the second term of his government in the state, Khattar proposed a 19 per cent increase in allocation for the agriculture and allied sectors and cooperation at Rs 8,316 crore for the year 2023-24.
"Agriculture and allied activities contribute 18.5 per cent to the economy of the state. The contribution of Haryana's farmers to the economic development of India is well recognized," said Khattar in the House.
Khattar said on the request of the government of India, the United Nations is celebrating 2023 as the International Millets year and the government of India is actively promoting the cultivation and consumption of millets in Haryana.
A project of Rs 27 crore is being prepared to promote the cultivation of millets through cluster demonstration, distribution of hybrid seeds, certified seed production, integrated nutrient and pest management, said Khattar.
In order to improve the productivity of bajra cultivation, a Nutri-Cereals Research Station was being established by Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agriculture University (CCS HAU) at Gokalpura in Bhiwani district will become functional in 2023, he informed the House.
The government will popularize the consumption of bajra through bringing out a recipe book for various items based on bajra.
"I hope that Haryana will lead the way in improving the productivity of bajra cultivation, its branding and marketing through various products," he said.
On natural farming, Khattar said in 2023-24, the government has set a target of 20,000 acres for the adoption of natural farming.
"Two training centres have been established at Gurukul in Kurukshetra and Gharaunda in Karnal. Three more training centres are proposed to be established in 2023-24 located in the CCS HAU Hisar, HAMETI Jind and Mangiana in Sirsa," said Khattar.
"In 2022-23, 2,238 farmers have been identified and provided support for the adoption of natural farming over 5,906 acres against the target of 2,500 acres set in the budget address last year," the CM said.
The budget also proposed to focus on precision agriculture which enables climate-smart agriculture through judicious use of fertilizers and pesticides, optimizing water usage through micro-irrigation techniques, crop health monitoring through drone imagery, soil health monitoring, local area disease and pest surveillance and increasing adoption of solar pumps.
The project will be initiated in Sirsa district and based on the learnings, it will be expanded to other districts in phases, he said.
Taking forward the initiative of the central government for the adoption of 'Kisan drones' in agricultural activities, the government plans to impart training to 500 young farmers in drone operations, said Khattar.
Stating that green manuring increases soil's organic matter and improves soil health, Khattar said the state government has introduced a scheme where the farmer will be facilitated to adopt green manuring through 'dhaincha' cultivation where the government will bear 80 per cent of the cost of Rs 720 per acre and the farmer has to contribute only 20 per cent of the cost.
Khattar said the government aims to double the cropped area under horticulture and triple horticulture production by 2030 through the formation of crop cluster development programmes, setting up the supply chain for fresh fruits and vegetables, the establishment of pack houses and the formation of farmer producer organizations (FPOs).
The government also proposed to establish a honey laboratory and prepare honey trade policy to facilitate beekeepers in the state to market honey through auctions for better price realization and improving quality, the CM said.
The budget also proposed three new centres of excellence, one on post-harvest management in Panchkula, the second for onions in Pinangawan in Nuh district and the third for flowers in Munimpur in Jhajjar district, he said.
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First Published: Feb 23 2023 | 4:21 PM IST