Farmers for ban on reapers, OK to burning loose straw

  • | Friday | 22nd September, 2023

Chandigarh: Ahead of paddy harvesting next month which could lead to a haze over north India, Punjab farmers are seeking permission for the lesser evil of burning only loose straw, which they claim causes lesser air pollution. They also propose a ban on the use of reaper, without which standing stubble cannot be set on fire.Even though the farmers claim is endorsed by agriculture experts, it would still go against the campaign against farm fires. Most farmers burn paddy straw after harvesting the crop with combine harvesters along with the stubble by using the reaper or stubble shaver on the plea that the loose straw causes hindrance in sowing wheat crop.Bhartiya Kisan Union (Kadian) on Monday submitted a memorandum, claiming that farmers set their fields on fire under compulsion for want of a better option to get rid of the paddy straw, and a ban on the reaper would put brakes on pollution when farmers clear fields for the wheat crop. We also published the following articles recentlySpoiled soybean harvest pushes farmers towards horticultureFarmers in Indore division are switching from soybean to crops like garlic, peas, onion, potato, and green beans due to damage caused by lack of rain. The acreage under horticulture crops in the division is around 3-3.5 lakh hectares. Farmers are hoping to benefit from early supplies in the market by opting for early sowing of vegetables. The peak season for sowing horticulture crops is October-November.Govt goes into overdrive to contain stubble burningThe Punjab government is taking measures to reduce crop residue burning during the paddy harvesting season. Steps include having government employees pledge not to burn crop residue, encouraging village panchayats to pass resolutions against stubble burning, promoting the use of crop residue management machinery, and raising awareness in villages. The Commission for Air Quality Management is urging Punjab and other states to adopt measures to control burning. Last year, Punjab saw a 30% reduction in farm fires, but the area under burning only slightly decreased.Proverbial last straw that triggered Operation Polo on Hyderabad stateThe military action against the Nizam of Hyderabad was hastened by a combination of factors, including ordinances issued by the Nizam against the Indian Union, increased activity of the Razakars led by Qasim Razvi, and violations of the standstill agreement. These violations included restrictions on the export of precious metals and the declaration that Indian currency was not legal tender. Other factors such as the sanction of a loan to Pakistan and the failure to obtain approval for various agreements and actions also played a role in the military intervention.

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