Haryana Agriculture and Irrigation Minister, Om Parkash Dhankar said that due to climate change, sustainable agriculture and water management have become issues of serious concern for the world.
Dhankar was speaking at an international conference on Sustainable Farming and Water Management at Aswan in Egypt on Wednesday.
Dhankar said that apart from India, other countries of the world too are facing the effects of climate change. He said that during last year, 13 states of India remained affected by drought due to weak monsoon and scanty rain in winter. He said that in India, Haryana has better water management. In Haryana, there are about 1,400 canals having 14,000 kms length. He said that besides bringing water of Bhakra Dam and Sutlej Basin to Yamuna Basin and utilising one crore acre feet canal water and one crore acre feet underground water for irrigation in Haryana, we have produced ten crore quintals of wheat and seven crore quintals of paddy over an area of 90 lakh acres. This, he said has been made possible despite unfavourable climate.
During last year, a compensation of Rs 1,092 crore was given to farmers for loss of wheat crop due to adverse climate and compensation of Rs 967 crore was given for damage to cotton crop due to white fly as a result of weak monsoon, Dhankar said.
The Agriculture Minister said that last year the Government of India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi actively participated in Indo-African Conference held in Delhi and conferences on climatic change held in Paris. He said that the Central Government has formulated a scheme to create risk free farms and the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Bima Yojna is being implemented. He said that emphasis was being laid on better water management and in the next four years, special emphasis would be laid on reconstruction and expansion of canal network, recharge of underground water, encourage micro irrigation and schemes for rain water harvesting at the cost of Rs 3,000 crore.
Dhankar expressed hope that this conference would give new message to African and other countries of the world struggling with the challenges of climate change.
On the occasion, Irrigation Minister of Egypt, Mohamed Abdel, Governor of Aswan, Magdy Fouad Hegazy, representatives from various countries were present.
Those who attended the conference along with Dhankar included MLAs, Om Parkash Yadav and Ravinder Machhrauli, Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture, Ram Niwas and Engineer-in-Chief, Irrigation, Anil Kumar Gupta.