PHDCCI Video Conference highlights Techniques & Benefits of Crop Residue Management

No.PR-254 September 12, 2020 New Delhi PHDCCI Video Conference highlights Techniques & Benefits of Crop Residue Management PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) organized a video Conference on Crop Residue Management here today where experts from Haryana Government and Industry highlighted various techniques and benefits of crop residue management. Introducing the Chief Guest, Dr. Randhir Singh, Additional Director General, ICAR and other eminent speakers, Mr. Bhushan Goel, Chair, Agriculture Committee, Haryana, PHDCCI said that burning of crop residues has a hazardous impact on the quality of air and we witness this phenomenon in the northern India every year during the winters. Therefore, there is urgent need to curb this menace by working out a long-term resolution for crop residue management. Addressing the Conference, the Chief Guest Dr. Randhir Singh, Additional Director General, ICAR mentioned that mechanical harvesters leave a large amount of crop residue in form of stubbles on the field. This Crop residue contains large amounts of assimilated carbon and other nutrients which must be recycled to maintain soil health. However, time constraint and high cost of labour force farmers to burn the leftover stubble for a quick and no-cost clearance of the field. Highlighting the importance of crop residue management like in situ composting of crop residue, Dr. Randhir Singh said that the target of doubling farmer income can be achieved by effective crop residue management and it can play an increasingly significant role in sustainable agricultural development. He informed that due to efforts of the Central and State Governments, the air pollution caused by burning of crop residue has decreased by 50% in Punjab and 60% in Haryana. Dr. Randhir Singh informed that farmers get subsidy for purchase of machinery like reversible plough, happy seeders, zero–till-drills and straw reaper etc, for managing the crop residues. Custom Hiring Centres have been established in Haryana to provide facility of hiring of farm machinery to small and marginal farmers for crop residue management but lack of information and high cost of hiring are hurdles in effective management of crop residue. To encourage farmers to adopt crop management procedures, it is important to provide training, on field demonstration of machines by manufacturers, interaction with various farmers association and providing farm machinery on hire basis at reasonable rates. Mr. Lalit Kumar, Head R&D, Beri Udyog Ltd. made a presentation about the various agricultural machinery and equipments manufactured by their company. He mentioned that two types of machines are available for crop residue management. Machines like super seeder, reversible MB Plough that help in incorporating the crop residue in soil in situ. For ex situ management, machines like bailers, hay rack, rotary slashers can be used to remove the crop residue from the fields that can be used as fuel, fodder etc. Addressing the Conference, Mr. Sunil Dhingra, Associate Director, The Energy and Resource Institute mentioned that while 74% of the crop residue is consumed as composting material, fodder etc. the remaining 26% bio mass is burnt and its management is a major challenge. He added that this crop residue can be used as coal replacement in power plants, in pulp and paper industry, brick kilns, boilers etc. This can also be used for gasification and production of bio fuel but all this requires huge investment and effective policies. Highlighting the steps taken by Government of Haryana for crop residue management, Er. Jagmander Singh Nain, Joint Director, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department, Haryana stated that Haryana Government is providing subsidy for crop residue management machinery. These machines help farmers in mixing crop residue with soil to make it more productive. Farmer groups are being provided financial assistance for establishing Farm Machinery Banks for Custom Hiring of crop residue management machinery. Mr Nain further mentioned that the Haryana Government has comprehensive plan for the crop residue management. The Central Government has also provided support for this purpose. Along with in-situ and ex-situ management of crop residue, the Government is establishing Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs). He added that an incentive of Rs. 1000/- per acre is being given for on field management of crop residue. He also informed that under the scheme of ‘mera pani meri virasat’, an incentive of Rs. 7000/- per acre is paid for growing non-Basmati and Muchal variety of Basmati. Earlier welcoming the speakers and participants, Mr. Mohit Jain, Chair, Haryana State Chapter, PHDCCI mentioned that with increased use of combine harvester for harvesting has increased. As a result huge amount of crop residue like stalks, straw etc are left in the fields. The management of this crop residue is is a major challenge as it involves huge cost and time. As a result only 10 percent of the farmers in the developed states of agriculture are managing the residue while others resort to burning the crop residue. The poisonous gas generated by burning crop residue not only destroys soil nutrients but also affects human health. Keeping this in view the government has come up with many policies for efficient crop residue management that will be discussed in detail in today’s program. Thanking the speakers and participants, Mr. Ravi Beri, Co Chair, Agriculture Committee, Haryana, PHDCCI appealed to the farmers not to burn crop residue thereby helping protect human health and environment. Ends Media Division PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry