Can government decide what farmers grow in their fields? -Prabhash K Dutta

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published Published on May 16, 2020   modified Modified on May 19, 2020

Paddy cultivation has been a worry for water conservationists for long worldwide. And, paddy is not the only water-guzzling crop to have come under the scanner.

Beyond the frightening cries of coronavirus outbreak and displaced migrants, a section of farmers in Punjab, Haryana and Telangana, to begin with, are debating this: Can government decide which crop they cultivate in their fields?

It began with Punjab. The story began during 1970's as a side-effect of green revolution but in mid-2000's, it assumed critical proportion. Incumbent Captain Amarinder Singh was chief minister of Punjab back then.

Wide-scale cropping of paddy had caused extensive decline of water table in Punjab. Some suggested bringing a law to regulate paddy culture. "A law telling farmers when to sow paddy? Nobody will accept it," Captain had said.

Finally, a law came in Punjab in 2009. It is called the Preservation of Sub-soil Water Act and authorizes the government to notify the dates for paddy transplantation.

Please click here to read more., 16 May, 2020,

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