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Why do farmers burn fields? What is an alternative solution to this?

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[FONT=q_serif]There are lot of reasons to burn farm or crop residuals.Here are the valid reasons which i am trying to elaborate in few words:[/FONT]

  1. First is, We are 1.26 billion people country, to satiate 1.26 people hunger we need to produce more food grains.Usually before green revolution farmer take 3 crops per year and left 2 months in a year for reinstate soil health, but as the population increased, scarcity of food increased in order to address this now farmer is taking 4 crop per year, so they do not have time to cut & shredding & store the crop residue.
  2. Second is, Labour cost come in crop residue cutting, storing & transportation , is not viable now a days.
  3. Third is, A gradual decrease in livestock population. In 1947 India’s population was 30 crore and cows were 120 crore.Now India’s population is 126 crore and cows left around 20 crore . Before green revolution farmers used to use crop residue as a cattle feed. As cattle population is decreasing crop residue consumption decreasing.
  4. Fourth is, Now a days farmers is using machines for harvesting crops.These machines is not harvest or cut crop from the bottom part of plant. They shredd upper part of plant. So leaving more crop residue.
  5. Fifth and most important part is our farmer is being told after the green revolution to burn these residue, they cited reason behinds this, The diseases of last crop will not transmit in coming sowing crop and same for weeds.They also advocating in farmers, burning residuals of crops is a good practice because left ash is a good source of phosphorous.
[FONT=q_serif]If we will teach our farmers that crop residue is a assets for you not a wastage may be they will not burn crop residue, for this we have to make them aware about sustainable uses of crop residue like Mulching, composting, manure etc.There is a organization who is giving training on sustainable farming you can contact to them.Here I am sharing a link for you.[/FONT]
After a tumultuous demand for alternatives to stubble-burning, the departments seem to have come into action. Officials are visiting the farmers, who gave up stubble-burning and adopted alternative methods on their own, to see the viability of the methods. The agriculture development department highlighted a new instrument made by New Gurdeep Combines, which is fixed at the back of a harvester combine. It trims the stubble into small pieces and spreads it evenly in the field.

Nabha sub-divisional magistrate Jashanpreet Kaur Gill visited a farm to witness the technique at village, Ghanudki. Nabha agriculture development officer Jupinder Singh said that a farmer loses 21 kg nitrogen, 5 kg phosphorous, 50 kg potash, 60 kg sulphur, 0.7 kg iron, 0.75 kg manganese, 0.75 kg zinc and 400 kg of carbon per acre by burning stubble.

Two farmers Bir Dalvinder and Ravi, who were present on the occasion, said that direct sowing of wheat through happy seeding has helped them retain moisture and nutrients in the soil.

The new harvester instrument, that spreads stubble in the field, helps to restore the organic matter. After that, direct sowing is done preferably using happy seeder.

Bir Dalvinder said that he had harvested 1 quintal extra yield per acre for two years by direct sowing without burning stubble. Ravi said that even potatoes could be sown after spreading the trimmed stubble in the fields.

The experimenting farmers claimed that since the soil gets the organic matter from the stubble, the need of fertilisers and manures also decreased in their fields. Moreover, the above process of paddy harvesting has saved them around `2,000 per acre in the next crop, claimed the farmers. A lot of time is also saved as the sowing is done within hours after harvesting.

Under trainee assistant commissioner Sandeep Kumar also visited the farm on the directions of Patiala deputy commissioner. The owners of the agro firm said that the farmers are demanding alternatives to stubble-burning, which motivated them to build such an instrument. “Farmers are realising that stubble-burning is depleting environment for future generations,” said Soni from New Gurdeep Combines, Bhadson. It costs only `200 per acre extra while harvesting, but a lot of fuel is saved in sowing, ultimately bringing down the cost of production of the next crop, he added.

The officers appealed to propagate the method and also assured to bring it up with the government to provide support. Kisan union leaders and other farmers were also present during the demonstration.

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