All that was discussed in the House through the day
The total number of farmers / farm labourers who died by suicide in 2019 was 10,281, according to the National Crime Records Bureau publication titled Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India 2019, Narendra Singh Tomar, Union minister of agriculture and farmers welfare, told the Rajya Sabha September 18, 2020. This accounted for 7.4 per cent of the total deaths by suicide (139,123) during 2019, he added.
MGNREGA employment generation
There had been an increase of 52.11 per cent in total employment generation under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act from April-August 2020, compared to the same period last year, Tomar, Union minister of rural development, told the Rajya Sabha.
He was replying to a question about whether there had been a drop in average person days generated under MGNREGA due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Bihar crop losses
An area of 922,038.82 hectares (ha) planted with paddy, maize, fruits and vegetables had been affected due to heavy rains in Bihar, Tomar told the Rajya Sabha.
Cultivable land area under organic farming had more than doubled to 29.17 lakh ha in 2020, from 11.83 lakh ha in 2014 due to the focused efforts of the government, Tomar told the Rajya Sabha.
Taking a cue from the success of the organic initiatives, a target of 20 lakh ha had been set aside to be brought under organic farming by 2024. Awareness programmes, availability of adequate post-harvest infrastructure, marketing facilities, premium price for the organic produce etc, would certainly motivate farmers towards organic farming, thereby increasing organic coverage in the country, he added.
No crop losses had been reported due to locust attacks during June and Junly, 2020, by the governments of Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Punjab and Bihar, Tomar told the Rajya Sabha.
The government of Haryana reported crop damage below 33 per cent. This included the districts of Charkhi Dadri (2,388 ha), Sirsa (489 ha), Rewari (390 ha), Bhiwani (1,700 ha), Mahendragarh (1,129 ha), Hisar (373 ha) and Rohtak (52 ha).
The government of Madhya Pradesh reported 10-15 per cent damage in soybean crop in Damoh district (4,400 ha).
Maharashtra reported below 33 per cent crop damage in Nagpur (236 ha), Bhandara (160 ha), Gondia (320 ha) and Amravati (89.9 ha).
Uttarakhand reported crop damage (less than 33 per cent) in Udham Singh Nagar (251 ha), Bageshwar (14 ha) and Pithoragarh (two ha).
Uttar Pradesh reported crop damage (less than 33 per cent) in Jhansi (481 ha) and Sonebhadra (seven ha).
A total of 86,81,928 new job cards had been issued so far in the current fiscal year as compared to 36,64,368 new job cards issued during the same period of 2019-20, Tomar told the Rajya Sabha.
There had been a 19.4 per cent drop in Hepatitis-B birth doses administered and 31 per cent drop in vaccination sessions held in health facilities from April- June 2020, as compared to the same period last year, according to the Health Management Information System, in the light of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Shri Ashwini Kr Choubey, Union minister of State in the ministry of health and family welfare told the Lok Sabha.
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