Wealth from the stubble -Bhupesh Bhagel
-The Indian Express
Chhattisgarh model for disposal of agri-waste offers a solution to pollution crisis.
At times, situations press us into a corner where we need to face the challenges head on and reach a long-term solution. Pollution caused by burning of parali (crop residue) is one such unprecedented crisis. We must act not only because it is choking Delhi or there is a 50 per cent rise in respiratory illnesses, be it COPD or asthma cases, in the National Capital Region (NCR) area, but also because we are losing soil fertility and there is a rise in incidents of cancer in Punjab and Haryana.
Farmers in Haryana and Punjab burn up to 35 million tonnes of parali,which is responsible for significant percentage of Delhi-NCR’s air pollution levels. One study estimates that crop residue burning released 149 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, nine million tonnes of carbon monoxide, 0.25 million tonnes of suphur oxides and 1.28 million tonnes of particulate matter.
Let us look at the background of this issue. Farmers in Haryana and Punjab have to move to the next winter crop in a very short interval, following the Rabi crop sowing. If they are late, due to short winters these days, they might face considerable losses. If parali is left in the field, pests like termites may attack upcoming crop. Already in an economically-precarious situation, farmers go for the cheapest option for stubble disposal — burning. A farmer knows about the pollution crisis. But we also need to know his problems — pests, markets and soil fertility.
The Indian Express, 7 November, 2019, please click here to read more.
The Indian Express, 7 November, 2019, https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/stubble-burning-pollution-delhi-chhattisgarh-benefits-6106764/