Himachal aims to double income of farmers by 2022

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Shimla, July 1 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh’s BJP government has launched various schemes to enable the state’s farmers to double their income by 2022, an official said on Sunday.

Three irrigation schemes — Jal Se Krishi Ko Bal, Flow Irrigation Scheme and Solar Irrigation Scheme — have been launched with sanctioned outlays of Rs 250 crore, Rs 150 crore and Rs 200 crore respectively for this purpose, a government spokesperson said.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Irrigation Scheme, new units of 111 minor irrigation schemes have been set up with a budgetary provision of Rs 338 crore. The first instalment of Rs 49 crore in the form of central assistance has already been received.

Simultaneously, a sum of Rs 277 crore has been set aside for the development of small irrigation schemes in the hill state.

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The state has already sent a proposal entailing an expenditure of Rs 800 crore to the Central government to strengthen irrigation facilities and to repair old irrigation and drinking water sources.

The government has also reduced electricity tariff for irrigation from Re 1 per unit to 75 paise per unit, which will facilitate lakhs of farmers, said the spokesperson.

The Cabinet had approved guidelines for the implementation of the Prakritik Kheti-Khushaal Kisan scheme under which the income of farmers will increase through natural farming and a provision of Rs 25 crore has been made for its implementation.

This scheme will give a new direction to natural agriculture and farmers will get encouraged to reduce the use of chemical fertilisers. State agricultural universities will prepare a package of practices for implementation of the scheme.

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The state has also taken a decision to bring more areas under fruit and vegetable production.

Currently, the Japan International Cooperation Agency has been providing assistance of Rs 321 crore to the state under a crop diversification project for enhancing the socio-economic conditions of farmers in Mandi, Kangra, Hamirpur, Bilaspur and Una districts.

Now, the second phase of this scheme will be implemented in all 12 districts at a cost of Rs 1,000 crore.

Himachal Pradesh is the only state where 89.96 per cent of its population lives in rural areas and dependence on agriculture and horticulture is much higher compared with other states.

There is a vast scope in agriculture and horticulture in the state, with 62 per cent people getting employment in the agriculture sector. About 10 per cent of the State Gross Domestic Product comes from agriculture and related sectors.

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–IANS

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