In order to give a boost to the farm sector, the Haryana government has announced an increase of 19% in the budget allocation for agriculture and allied sector.
An outlay of Rs 3,206 crore has been proposed in 2017-18 against Rs 2,699crore in revised estimates for 2016-17. The allocation includes Rs 1,516 crore for agriculture, Rs 747 crore for animal husbandry, Rs 397 crore for horticulture, Rs 458 crore for forests, and Rs 89 crore for fisheries, finance minister Capt Abhimanyu said, presenting his third consecutive budget in the state assembly.
He said the farmers of the state have shown resilience, which is reflected in the reversal of the negative growth of 2% cent witnessed in agriculture and allied sector in 2014-15 to a positive growth of 3.2% in 2015-16 and 7% in 2016-17. “Due to the hard work put in by farmers and government interventions, foodgrain production had increased by 7.2% from 152.36 lakh metric tonnes in 2014-15 to 163.33 lakh metric tonnes in 2015-16,” he said. The target of foodgrain production for 2016-17 has been fixed at 174.50 lakh metric tonnes.
With a view to identifying the deficiency of major and micro nutrients in the soil, the state is implementing Soil Testing Programme in a sustained manner. At present 34 Soil and Water Testing Laboratories (STL) are functioning in the state. In addition, 50 mini-soil-testing units have been procured during the 2016-17. Further, a new Static Soil Testing Laboratory is being set up at Gulha Cheeka in Kaithal. Under the Soil Health Card Scheme, 11.80 lakh soil samples have been collected, of which over five lakh soil samples have already been tested and prepared, he said.
The FM said that the state government has prepared “Horticulture Vision” to double the area and triple the production of horticulture crops in 15 years. The government has declared 340 “Bagwani Villages” in 140 Crop Clusters for which a Crop Cluster Development Programme (CCDP) has been prepared for crop diversification and to increase farmers’ income.
A Horticultural University is being established in the name of Maharana Pratap at Karnal. The government envisages setting up of “Centre of Excellence” in each district of the state. Three centres have already been established at Karnal, Sirsa and Kurukshetra and another is likely to be completed by March 2017 at Shahabad, Kurukshetra.