In order to help reduce the water consumption in the green revolution, Scientist and MP Prof. M.S Swaminathan has commented that the states of Punjab and Haryana need to substitute white rice with Basmati rice.
Today the major concern for the government is the reduction in water levels in both the states and to manage this fall in water level, Indian government has planned to shift around 10 lac hectare of rice cultivation from north India to water surplus eastern areas under the program “Bringing the Green Revolution to eastern India (BGREI)”.
Government has allotted 2.400 crores for this program already, but the farmers of Punjab and Haryana are negative about this program as currently paddy and wheat are yielding them higher return as compared to other less water consuming crops.
The National Farmers commission has identified 25 crops for the government, for which assured prices are to be announced before the sowing season, but Dr. Swaminathan has commented that the government must think about the other crops in order to improve the condition of farmers and check environmental degradation.
Currently, most of the Basmati rice is produced in Punjab and Haryana and due to which India earns a valuable foreign exchange for the farmers. Estimated basmati rice export from India in 2012-13 are at about 35 lac tons worth about Rs.17,000 crore.