Agriculture of Haryana
Despite recent industrial development, Haryana is primarily an agricultural state. About 70% of residents are engaged in Agriculture of Haryana . Wheat and rice are the major crops. Haryana is self-sufficient in food production and the second largest contributor to India’s central pool of food grains. The main crops of Agriculture of Haryana are wheat, rice, sugarcane, cotton, oilseeds, gram, barley, corn, millet etc. There are two main types of crops in Agriculture of Haryana : Rabi and Kharif.
The major Kharif crops of Haryana are rice, jowar, bajra, maize, cotton, jute, sugarcane, sesame and groundnut. For these crops the ground is prepared in April and May and the seeds are sown at the commencement of rains in June. The crops are ready for harvesting by the beginning of November. The major Rabi crops are wheat, tobacco, gram, linseed, rapeseed and mustard. The ground is prepared by the end of October or the beginning of November and the crops are harvested by March. About 86% of the area is arable, and of that 96% is cultivated. About 75% of the area is irrigated, through tubewells and an extensive system of canals. Haryana contributed significantly to the Green Revolution in India in the 1970s that made the country self-sufficient in food production. The state has also significantly contributed to the field of agricultural education in the country. Asia’s biggest agricultural UniversityChaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University is located at Hisar and it has made a significant contribution in ushering in the ‘Green Revolution’ in the state.
Haryana is a land of hardworking farmers. Mixed farming is a way of life and the State is known for its famous breeds of Murrah buffalo and Hariana cattle. Also the climate of Haryana is uniquely favourable for Basmati rice cultivation. About 2/3rdof the State has assured irrigation, most suited for rice-wheat production system, whereas rain fed lands (around 1/5th) are most suited for rapeseed & mustard, pearl millet, cluster bean cultivation, agro-forestry and arid-horticulture. The Stateis also ideally located nearer to National Capital Region (NCR) with access to a range of big markets and the international Airport. Rice, wheat, rapeseed & mustard, bajra, cotton and sugarcane are the major crops with considerable scope for agricultural diversification as well as off farm opportunities. Cauliflower, onion, potato, tomato, chillies guava and kinnow are the important horticultural crops having good potential. Allied sectors like dairying, poultry, fishery, arid-horticulture, mushroom farming, bee keeping, agro-forestry have great potential. The land and water resources are indeed valuable and the State is fortunate to have very good cultivable land with high cropping intensity, proper farm mechanization and progressive farming community, especially very hard working women farmers. Rich traditional knowledge and modern farming practices adopted by the farmers place Haryana State in a viable position. The Government policies are pro-farmer and State has an efficient governance system to support farmers. Opportunities Proximity to the national capital region (NCR) as well other big cities, the fast growing domestic demand and expanding markets for agricultural products is a rare opportunity especially for the farming community of Haryana. Well-developed research and extension system to bridge the existing productivity gaps in crops, animals and other sectors, developing infrastructure for agroprocessing to utilize available raw materials mare some of the emerging opportunities that needs to be harnessed. Increasing demand for fruits, vegetables, milk, meat, eggs, fish and other dairy products (butter, paneer, cheese, sweets), due to fast expansion of middle income group, is seen as positive indicator. In addition, international demand for specialty products such as Basmati rice, Mozzarella cheese, Murrah buffalo germ plasm, mushroom, baby corn, strawberry, honey, etc. are some of the emerging highly potential options for increased profitability and income. Linking of markets with producing centres along with existence of International Air Port in the near vicinity offers additional opportunities for exporting to even global markets. Also the fast developing rural infrastructure in the State is an additional asset for fully exploiting the potential of agriculture sector. Existing cooperative societies can also be revitalized for organized credit, marketing and other services in the agriculture sector. Convergence and coordination among research and development organizations, possibilities for diversification in favour of horticulture, especially the vegetables and flowers, livestock, inland aquaculture (in village ponds, waterlogged areas and arid region having brackish water), aiming at growing of high value fish species like mangur, sol, sea bass, tilapia, singara, prawn, etc. will open new opportunities for increased profitability and income. Organic farming is another area for cutting down costs, improved soil fertility and increased farm income. Scope for development of peri-urban agriculture and protected cultivation of good quality vegetables and flowers is another untapped /under-tapped opportunity for the farmers of Haryana.
Major Issues in Agriculture of Haryana
Not with standing these very impressive achievements, the State is facing problems of decreasing size of farm holdings, decreasing cultivable area, increasing soil salinity, declining as well as rising water tables, imbalanced use of fertilizers and micro-nutrient deficiency, harsh climate, low forest cover (3.52%), considerable area still under rain fed farming (about 19%), lack of required processing and value addition facilities, storage constraints and off late shortage of labour for farming operations. All these factors are adversely affecting productivity enhancement. There is significant productivity gap in the field crops, horticultural crops and livestock. The State is deficit in pulses (except gram), vegetables and fruits. There is deceleration in total factor productivity particularly in rice, one of the main crops of the State. A lot remains to be done in case of land reforms, capital investment for infrastructure development, natural resource management, marketing, processing and value addition, improved environmental services, risk management, agricultural credit, insurance and agro-advisory services to the farmers. The State is yet to harness its comparative advantage using its niche for Murrah buffalo (to promote dairying and value added products), Basmati rice, guar, mushroom, poultry, fishery, arid horticulture, agro-forestry and agro-tourism. The plight of farmers, particularly small and marginal, women and agricultural labourers, in terms of income, profitability, sustainability and overall livelihood security, is a matter of continuing concern to policy makers, planners and development agencies. In the backdrop of these concerns, the proposed Agriculture Policy of Haryana will focus on agriculture and its allied sectors ensuring enhanced investments, increased production, productivity, sustainability and profitability. Such a policy, once in place, will trigger the process of accelerated, sustained and overall growth with human face.
Way ahead in Agriculture of Haryana
Land Related Issues:
- Good cultivable land be protected from non-agricultural uses
- Diversion of only waste and less productive land for non- agriculture uses
- Declining soil health needs priority attention
- Emphasis on organic recycling and balanced use of nutrients Rules and procedures for land reforms to be revisited
- Scientific land use ensured for
Improving Water Use Efficiency:
- In situ water harvesting (Khet Ka Pani Khet Me)
- Discouraging flood irrigation by promoting micro-irrigation
- Irrigation management through Water User Associations (WUAs)
- Strict Enforcement of Ground Water Draft Bill 2008 and Preservation of Sub-soil Water Act 2009
- Speedy completion of irrigation projects
- Economic pricing of water
- Laser land leveling and water delivery system through pipes
- Recharging of aquifer Management and diversion of flood water.
Bio- resource Management of Agriculture of Haryana :
- Ban on crop residue burning
- Un-interrupted supply of electricity
- Reasonable pricing of different forms of energy
- Use of non-conventional sources of energy
- Optimization of cow dung use
- Establishment of organized timber markets
- Protecting valuable agrobiodiversity.
Meeting Crop Productivity Challenges:
- Narrowing existing yield gaps
- Breeding high yielding stress tolerant hybrids/ varieties/ species
- Production of enough good quality seeds
- Increased investment in research for development
- Promoting crop diversification.
Meeting the Productivity Challenges:
- Increased acreage under hybrids
- Large scale adoption of protected cultivation
- Development of functional foods and nutraceuticles using F&Vs and indigenous flora
- Promoting arid horticulture
- Emphasis on mushroom production and honey bee as pollinators.
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