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Paddy Straw Management: Punjab Agriculture Minister Unveils Rs 350 Crore Plan

Punjab’s agriculture ministry’s stubble burning initiative is expected to tackle the persistent problem of burning stubble, which has caused serious environmental pollution and health concerns in the area.

Shivam Dwivedi
Paddy Straw Management: Punjab Agriculture Minister Unveils Rs 350 Crore Plan (Photo Source: Pixabay)
Paddy Straw Management: Punjab Agriculture Minister Unveils Rs 350 Crore Plan (Photo Source: Pixabay)

Punjab Agriculture Minister, Gurmeet Singh Khuddian announced on Sunday that the state's Department of Agriculture has formulated a comprehensive strategy to address the issue of stubble burning, which is a major source of air pollution in the northern part of India. The proposed scheme includes financial support of Rs 350 crore for the installation of straw management machinery.

During a press conference, Minister Khuddian explained that cooperative societies and other agricultural groups can benefit from an 80% subsidy on straw management machinery, while individual farmers will receive a subsidy of 50%. The agriculture department has already submitted the action plan, which requires funding from the central government for the current year.

The implementation of this plan will involve making more than 20,000 machines available to individuals at subsidized rates for effective crop residue management. Additionally, 1,000 custom hiring centers will be established to facilitate farmers in adopting sustainable practices.

Applications for the subsidy on various crop residue management machinery during the upcoming kharif season of 2023 are now being accepted from interested farmers, cooperative societies, and panchayats.

Minister Khuddian highlighted the range of machinery covered under the scheme, which includes super seeders, smart seeders, happy seeders, paddy straw choppers, shredders, mulchers, hydraulic reversible mold board plows, zero till drills for in-situ management, as well as balers and rakes for ex-situ management. The subsidy rates for individual farmers stand at 50% of the equipment cost, while cooperative societies and panchayats are eligible for an 80% subsidy.

The minister made an earnest appeal to farmers to take full advantage of this scheme in order to minimize crop residue burning cases in the state, ultimately aiming for a zero-burning scenario.

In addition to the subsidy plan, the agriculture department plans to conduct an extensive awareness campaign among farmers, educating them about the available technologies and methods for managing crop residue effectively.

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