हिंदी (Hindi)   

                                                          Chairman's Message

Enormous crop residues left in combine harvested fields in rice-wheat cropping zones of Haryana and adjoining states running into millions of tones is usually burnt by farmers in the urgency of sowing next crop in time. Its smoke/smog results in environmental pollution and global warming. Hence, in line with the National Green Tribunal to save environment of mother earth worth sustaining life, Haryana government, has declared residue burning an illegal activity. There are technologies/ machinery to clear straw mechanically in the form of bundles/bales for onward transportation and utilization as raw material in thermal plants to produce electricity; brick-kiln, industries for packaging fragile items like crockery and glass and as animal fodder and feed. There is another effective technology combination of residue shredder/spreader to distribute cut straw evenly in the fields and Happy Seeder for sowing seeds of next crop without till and inordinate delay under rice-wheat farming system. Also machines are available to cut crop residue into smaller pieces and incorporating them for better soil health, saving crop nutrient resources, conserving soil moisture for more crop per drop, reduction in CO emissions, lesser weeds and sturdier plants having better and 2 deeper roots. However, most of such machines are costly and beyond the reach of majority farmers in Haryana, hence need to be provided on custom hiring basis at nominal to affordable charges. Besides mulching in crops, straw is utilized as bedding for mushroom growing and animal farms. Basmati paddy straw, a nutritious fodder, is being mixed with other dry or green fodders to feed animals. In another in-situ biological approach 'Waste Decomposer' works effectively if applied after crop harvest on dry biomass along with application of irrigation water in the fields, and residue mixed in field soil by tractor driven ploughs. Moreover in long run, the area under paddy crop has to be reduced by growing alternate high value crops like vegetables, fruits, oil seeds, pulses, maize etc. to save water and energy. Further, to manage crop residue, funding can be explored from Green Climate Fund through the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development. During 2017-18 Ministry of Agriculture allocated Rs.45 crore for providing residue management machines and equipments such as Paddy Straw Baler, Straw Reaper, Shredder, Straw Chopper/ Mulcher, Gyro Rake, Rotavator, Happy Seeder, Zero Till Seed Drill etc., to farmers through Custom Hiring Centers or Farm Machinery Banks along with 50% subsidy for purchase and 80% subsidy for establishing custom hiring centre and Rs.4000/ha for demonstration of above machines at farmer fields. Now technologically and financially the enduring solution to this problem is possible and government is working hand in hand with the farmers to convert this serious problem into an opportunity to earn more while combating this evil of burning crop residue.

Dr. Ramesh Kumar Yadava

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