1. Home
  2. Agriculture World

Stubble Burning Problem Needs to be Addressed Urgently to Protect Environment & People’s Health: FAIFA

FAIFA, a leading non-profit organization representing the cause of millions of farmers and farm workers of commercial crops in India, has urged state governments to take farmers into confidence and support them with funds and equipment to effectively address the stubble burning problem.

Shruti Kandwal
The Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and NCT of Delhi governments have already received instructions from the Union government.
The Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and NCT of Delhi governments have already received instructions from the Union government.

In northern India, the season for farm fires has already started, and incidents of stubble burning will significantly rise in the upcoming weeks and months of October and November. The region's air pollution at this time of year is largely caused by the decades-old post-harvest practice of burning paddy crop stubbles.

The air quality didn't significantly worsen in September and early October due to the high amount of rainfall and a low number of farm fires. However, given the increase in stubble-burning incidents, it won't be long before the people of north India are exposed to highly toxic air.

The Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and NCT of Delhi governments have already received instructions from the Union government to "strive for achieving zero stubble burning" this year. Narendra Singh Tomar, the Union Agriculture Minister, presided over a high-level review meeting where topics related to the situation of stubble burning management were fully discussed.

Even though the state governments have started to take action, their inability to devise a clear plan, take farmers into confidence through awareness campaigns and other engagement methods, and provide them monetarily and tech assistance will lead to another season of high pollution for north India. 

While initiatives like using the Pusa bio-decomposer, a microbial solution that decomposes paddy in around 20 days, are welcome, the target area for the same has to be increased. Notably, the state with the maximum number of farm fires has increased the target area by just 500 acres — from 7500 acres in 2021 to 8000 acres in 2022. This kind of approach will not yield the desired results.  

“The age-old problem of burning crop waste needs to be addressed urgently to protect both the environment and people’s health. Instead of making big announcements, state governments must collaborate with farmers to ensure a bigger impact on the ground. This can ensure resource optimization as far as material, equipment and manpower is concerned,” said Javare Gowda, President, Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA).

“State governments must earmark funds to address the stubble burning problem. They must provide the required equipment and machinery to farmers to ensure that the crop waste is properly disposed of. The most important thing is to bring farmers on board so that the decision to ban stubble burning does not come across like a diktat but a measure to benefit everyone,” said Murali Babu, General Secretary, Federation of All India Farmer Associations (FAIFA).

In order to find an effective solution to the problem, the promotion among farmers about the three machines that help in disposing of crop waste — straw baling (ex situ), super seeding, and zero tillage machines (in situ) — must be intensified by state governments.

Take a Quiz on Green Revolution Take a quiz
Share your comments
FactCheck in Agriculture Project

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters