The Himachal government plans to introduce a new micro irrigation scheme designed to irrigate 8,500 hectares of land in the state at an estimated cost of Rs 154 crore.
“The government is committed to boosting agricultural production in the state by providing an effective system of irrigation to farmers. Under the proposed Rajiv Gandhi micro irrigation scheme farmlands would be brought under drip or sprinkler irrigation, benefitting over 14,000 farmers who would get a subsidy of Rs 113 crore during the four-year period of the project,” a government spokesman said Sunday.
He said the government was also the implementing YS Parmar Kisan Swarojgar Yojana under which 85% subsidy was being provided to farmers to set up poly houses.
“A budgetary provision of Rs 300 crore has been made for this scheme to cover an additional area of 200,000 square metres under poly houses this fiscal. This would provide employment to about 5,000 people engaged in agricultural activities. The government has decided to extend this scheme for constructing of high-tech poly houses with temperature control facilities with a separate subsidy for such equipment,” he added.
The spokesman said production of off-season vegetables had crossed 1.4 million metric tonnes, generating an income of about Rs 2,500 crore.
“The state government has made a provision of Rs 60 crore for further promotion of off-season vegetables this fiscal. Efforts are also being made for improvement of soil health services, for which zone wise soil fertility maps will be made available online so that farmers can get first hand information. During this financial year about 100,000 farmers will be provided soil heath cards. Besides, three new mobile soil testing laboratories will be set up in the state to provide services in interior areas,” he added.
The spokesman said the state government had also decided to launch a new scheme – Mukhyamantri Kisan Evam Khetihar Mazdoor Jeevan Suraksha Yojana – with a view to provide insurance cover to farmers and farm workers in the event of sustaining injury or death due to operation of farm machinery. “The government will provide compensation of Rs 1.5 lakh in case of death or permanent disability and up to Rs 50,000 in case of partial disability,” he added.