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November 11, 2019

State Govt focussing on alternatives to stubble burning

State Govt focussing on alternatives to stubble burning

Having banned stubble burning earlier this year (notification issued on February 8), the Bangla Government has started an awareness campaign on the negatives of the activity and is also asking farmers to use advanced agri-equipment to ensure to ensure no stubbles are left behind. The authorities are also doing satellite monitoring to trace the areas of stubble burning.

The problem

Due to recent technological advances, the window between the kharif and rabi crop has narrowed down. So to prepare the land quickly, farmers resort to using a mechanical harvester instead of cutting the crops by hand. However, in this process, a substantial part of the root of the crop remains as a residue, which is the stubble that then needs to be burnt.

However, besides causing air pollution, which is widely known now, the high temperatures generated due to stubble burning also destroys the soil texture and the microorganisms beneficial to the soil.

The solution

The authorities, therefore, have suggested to farmers to use balers in case they opt for mechanical harvesters, as a baler uproots the stubble completely. A baler compresses the cut and raked crop into compact bales that are easy to handle, transport and store.

Other alternatives to stubble burning include using new machines that cut the crop as close to the roots as is done manually. Research is also on to find chemical processes to derive benefits.

In Malda, the Agriculture Department has experimented with a machine to remove the stubble and then use it to generate energy. Similar efforts will be made in the south Bengal districts too.

Source: Millennium Post