This text has been sponsored by Wingify Earth.
This yr, the district of Pathankot in Punjab recorded one farm hearth.
This was even when the state has been broadly regarded over time as among the many largest contributors to stubble burning, with studies suggesting that this season, Punjab logged almost 80 per cent of stubble-burning instances in North India.
However because of the efforts of officers like Deputy Commissioner Harbir Singh and Chief Agricultural Officer Dr Amrik Singh, in addition to the cooperation of farmers, Pathankot was capable of buck this pattern.
As per Punjab Distant Sensing Centre studies, whereas the state noticed 71,304 stubble fires in 2021, Pathankot noticed solely six. The district diminished its fires yearly from 28 in 2016, 12 in 2017, 10 in 2018, 4 in 2019, 11 in 2020 and eventually one thus far this yr.
‘Meri Kheti, Mera Maan’
Stubble burning is among the many largest contributors to air air pollution. The gases launched throughout this course of — like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulphur oxides, and methane — trigger critical harm to each the atmosphere and our well being. One of many causes quoted by farmers for farm fires, regardless of so many consciousness programmes, is the truth that the time interval between paddy harvesting and wheat sowing could be very much less.
Dr Amrik Singh, who has been in Pathankot since 2016, says that the Deputy Commissioner wished to make the variety of farm fires zero this yr. For this, simply consciousness programmes wouldn’t be sufficient.
“Often, we go to every village and communicate to farmers. This methodology works for older farmers. For the youthful era, we wished to succeed in out in a language that they perceive. So we began a YouTube channel known as Meri Kheti Mera Maan. We posted success tales of farmers who didn’t burn their stubble,” Singh tells The Higher India.
Because of their channel, they’ve been capable of attain nearly 70,000 farmers, provides the officer. “Since younger farmers are tech-savvy, this works. Additionally, it helps us have a deeper penetration as an alternative of going to far-flung areas. We’ve posted 156 movies thus far,” provides Singh.
Additionally they have 15 WhatsApp teams, which have 2,200 members in whole. Additionally they create consciousness by way of their Fb web page, Agriculture Division, Pathankot. Wall work throughout the district additionally communicate in regards to the in poor health results of stubble burning. College youngsters are additionally being made conscious by way of portray, essay, and poetry competitions.
Pathankot grows paddy over 28,500 hectares of land. The district generates 1.3 lakh metric tonnes of paddy straw annually. As an alternative of burning this stubble, the administration has urged farmers to promote it as fodder for milch animals. This manner, each cattle house owners, and farmers profit.
“The farmers will get Rs 3,000 per acre by promoting their straw to those cattle house owners. The cattle house owners, primarily the Gujjar group, get this at an affordable price. They arrive and manually acquire and retailer the straw. By this, the crop residue will go to the soil within the form of manure and enrich the soil,” provides Singh.
He says that there are 1,05,000 milch animals within the district that may devour the complete straw produced. “We’ve studied soil samples from 2016 to now, in farms the place burning has been stopped. The soil has improved drastically,” he provides.
The financial profit to the 12,000-13,000 farmers of Pathankot as a consequence of this, is estimated at Rs 21.37 crores this yr, as per Singh.
Via authorities schemes, equipment can be being offered as a subsidy. He provides that the water desk has additionally gone up, air high quality has elevated, and human well being has improved.
They’re now working in direction of a zero wheat straw burning marketing campaign within the 421 villages within the district.
Stubble burning: Results on well being & atmosphere, rules and administration practices by Science Direct.
Punjab has 80% of stubble burning instances in North India: Central physique by Hindustan Instances.