1. Agriculture World

Stop Blaming Farmers for Pollution, Instead Help them Turn Stubble into Income: Prof. Swaminathan

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo

Amid the ongoing debate over severe air pollution in Delhi and adjoining regions, Father of Green Revolution, Professor M.S Swaminathan has raised objection against people blaming farmers for the smog & high levels of pollution in the National Capital.

Instead of putting all the blame on them, the governments in the North must work with growers to set up Rice BioParks, wherein farmers can easily convert farm waste into income and employment. The agricultural scientist said, “We must stop blaming farmers as it will take us nowhere. Instead, we should suggest methods that are economically and ecologically desirable”.

He urged the States in North India to take a cue from the growers in the South as farmers there do not burn their stubble/crop residues instead they convert it into animal feed.

In a series of Tweets last week, Professor Swaminathan said India needed to adopt a “do-ecology approach with the farmers in order to convert rice stubble into income rather than making them agents of eco-disaster.”

delhi pollution

He also said, “The air pollution in National Capital has become a matter of public health concern nationally & internationally. Farmers were blamed by many people including Delhi Chief Minister for burning stubble and thus causing atmospheric pollution”.

Telling about the Rice BioParks, the agricultural scientist said that the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation had recently launched a Rice BioPark at Nay Pyi Taw in Myanmar. The rice BioPark is the perfect example of showing how stubbles can be used in making products like paper, cardboard & animal feed, he added.

Numerous plans to convert crop residues remain non-starters even though Delhi-NCR chokes on severe air pollution every year. To prevent increase in air pollution levels, the oil marketing companies (OMCs) & thermal power units were planning to procure stubble & promote Centre's ‘Agricultural Mechanization’ for crop residue management.

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