It’s That Time Of The Year ! #CropStubbleBurning

A young man whose family owns a small holding of land in Haryana explained the reasons behind crop burning to me. Till a few decades ago farming families like his had bulls to plough their land & turn the soil. It was hard work for both man & beast.

The crop stubble in the turned soil was used as fodder for the animal & the rest mixed with dung to bind the dung cakes. Then came tractors & threshers so the farmer found it more economical to dispense with the bull & instead hire machine & equipment every season.

So now -After the soil is turned by the tractor there is a problem in disposing off the stubble/fodder. There is  no bull to feed nor cow dung cakes to make. Also the silica content in the fodder & the fuel spillover of the threshing machine makes it a challenge to sell it to those who still keep livestock….

Cost is the main hurdle. ~ When a single matchbox can do the job why would a farmer spend Rs 3500/acre ? ~was a quote in one of the articles I read.

Not only does stubble burning cause serious pollution problems but also destroys the earthworms, bacterial & fungal population – the ecosystem that helps in rejuvenation of the soil.

Shamefully experts & governments over the last few decades have fallen short of incentivising technological solutions to tackle this very serious problem that affects life, health & productivity of millions…..

Success stories such as Kalra Majra in Punjab must be highlighted. These farmers decided not to burn paddy stubble on 700 acres & ploughed it back into their fields. Not only did they nourish the soil but their yield also went up by 20%.

Green’ Diwalis are an embarrassing attempt to stomp out a forest fire with ones feet. Evidently the Centre & State governments have to first self educate, take up the issue on a war footing & then ENFORCEShort term saving now could mean spending billions on healthcare later …

2 Comments

  1. Just read the One Straw Revolution by Fukuoka and what you say completely aligns with that. We need to change how we think. We must use modern technology and learn from nature instead of the other way around

    Liked by 1 person

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