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IPS Foundation implements cost-efficient, scalable solution with Famers to curb stubble burning

Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan

Stubble burning is a common practice amongst farmers across north India, especially in the absence of economically viable and convenient solutions. In February 2018, the Punjab Government made it mandatory to use the Straw Management System (SMS), while using the combine harvester machines. The government of India also announced a Crop Residue Management scheme in May 2018 which promoted the use of alternate machines to manage the stubble in the field. It provided machines at subsidized rates to farmers (subsidy ranging from 50 percent to 80 percent for individual and group model respectively). So far, close to 20,000 machines have been provided to the farmers under this scheme. 

A unique and one of its kind initiatives – Change buddies have been created which will be used to spread awareness and drive usage of in-field straw management practices among farmers to reduce stubble burning &air pollution caused due to crop residue burning. These change agents are progressive farmer which will work in small groups (10-12 each) and will make alternative technologies available to group farmers on a rental basis. IPS Foundation is also raising awareness among 5000 farmers about the benefits of using alternative technologies, which will enable farmers to sow the next crop without clearing the standing stubble. The awareness program included road shows, community meetings, product demonstrations, farm visits and technical trainings for farmers. 

Ritesh Bhatia, CEO, India Paryavaran Sahayak Foundation said  “We are happy to receive the support of farmers in around 150 villages across 5 districts of Punjab where we operated. Farmers have come forward and shown interest in adopting new methods of managing stubble. Since, this is the first phase, we still think that there is a lot of scope for awareness amongst farmers on acceptance of alternative technologies. For any solution to be sustainable and widely accepted, it is important that it is cost efficient and convenient for the farmers to adopt. While several challenges exist, we hope to see reduction in stubble burning in the coming years.” 

Over the next two years, IPS Foundation expects reduction of CO2 emissions by 3 lakh tonnes and water savings of 48 million litres. 

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