Haryana agriculture minister OP Dhankar on Sunday claimed that the state had more wheat crop yield this year than the previous year despite the bout of unseasonal rain before the start of the harvest season.
"In 2015 we have already crossed last year's total procurement," Dhankar said. In 2014 Haryana produced 1.18 crore tonnes of wheat.
The minister attributed prolonged winters and the farmers not storing anything for themselves as the main reasons for the increased produce.
Highlighting the present government's role in providing compensation to farmers, the minister said, "We got the crop survey done at the earliest and so far we have presented cheques worth of Rs 1,092 crore to the farmers."
Over farmers from some villages returning their cheques alleging wrong crop survey, the minister replied, "We used the best method and the best resources that were available. However, there is always scope for improvement, and we will try to work on those parts in future too."
The minister also added that the present government in the state has paid the highest compensation of Rs 12,000 per acre, which is more than the Swaminathan Commission recommendations.
"Besides, in Punjab the compensation amount is only Rs 8,000 per acre and in other states it is way lower than that," said the minister adding that the government purchased wheat from the farmer at the standard minimum support price of Rs 1,450 per quintal.
On his early remarks about farmers committing suicide, the minister candidly replied, "I believe Haryana is the land of martyrs. Our men go to borders to offer sacrifices for the nation. So I was basically condemning the act of suicide and not the farmers."
With regard to introduction of technology in the state's irrigation system, the minister said, "Government is planning to start real-time mapping' technology to monitor the water in canals. With this we can check the level of water in all the canals through internet all the time."
The minister said soon a new system for liquid waste management will be started in 1,200 villages from the state after which it will be extended across Haryana.