1. Agriculture World

Bio-Decomposer to be Sprayed Over Paddy Fields to Curb Stubble Burning: Delhi Govt.

The government has formed 21 teams who will spread awareness about the efficiency of bio-decomposer and enroll farmers who want to apply the solution to their fields.

Shivam Dwivedi
Farmer spraying Bio-Decomposer on Paddy Fields
Farmer spraying Bio-Decomposer on Paddy Fields

According to Environment Minister Gopal Rai, the Delhi government will spray the Pusa bio-decomposer on 5,000 acres of basmati and non-basmati paddy fields to prevent stubble burning in the capital. He also stated that the bio-decomposer will be tested on farmlands in Punjab.

The Indian Agricultural Research Institute's (IARI) Pusa bio-decomposer is a microbial solution that can convert paddy straw into manure in 15-20 days. Rai told a press conference here that the Delhi government will spray the bio-decomposer on 5,000 acres of basmati and non-basmati paddy fields for free this year. According to him, the government has formed 21 teams to raise awareness about the effectiveness of the bio-decomposer and to register farmers who want to use the solution in their fields.

According to the minister, the government will not have to prepare the solution because the IARI has already prepared it. "We'll buy it from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute right here. Ten litres of solution can be mixed with 200 litres of water and sprayed directly on one acre of land," he explained. Rai also stated that the bio-decomposer will be tested on 5,000 acres (2,023 hectares) of land in Punjab. Farmers in Punjab have expressed concern about the time it takes the solution to decompose paddy straw, and IARI scientists will investigate.

The bio-decomposer is also available in powder form. For the third year in a row, the Delhi government will use the Pusa bio-decomposer on agricultural land in the national capital's outskirts. Last year, it was sprayed on 4,300 acres of land belonging to 844 farmers in Delhi. It had been used on 1,935 acres of land by 310 farmers by 2020. Spraying the bio-decomposer, according to officials, costs only Rs 30 per acre.

A third-party audit conducted in 2021 to assess the impact of the microbial solution in Delhi revealed that it was 95% effective, prompting Kejriwal to request that the Centre distribute it for free in neighbouring states. Along with unfavourable meteorological conditions, paddy straw burning in Punjab and Haryana is a major contributor to the national capital's alarming increase in air pollution levels in October and November.

Farmers set fire to their fields to clear away crop residue before planting wheat and potatoes. According to the IARI, Punjab reported 71,304 farm fires between September 15 and November 30 of last year, and 83,002 farm fires between September 15 and November 30 of this year. Last year, the proportion of farm fires in Delhi's PM 2.5 pollution peaked at 48% on November 7.

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