New Delhi: In a bid to achieve “net-zero stubble burning”, the center held a high-level review meeting with all the stakeholders to prevent paddy stubble burning in the current season.
The meeting was attended by the Agriculture Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, and the Environment Minister of Delhi which was chaired by the Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar in the presence of Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav.
During the meeting, the States presented their action plan and strategies for preventing stubble burning in the current season.
The States were advised to utilize the funds provided for crop residue management and make Crop Residue Management (CRM) machinery available well before the harvesting season.
They were also advised to carry out activities in collaboration with ICAR and other stakeholders to bring awareness amongst farmers against paddy stubble burning.
Speaking on the occasion, the Union Minister for Environment stated that efforts to prevent paddy stubble burning for the last five years are bearing good results.
“Due to the concerted efforts of agencies like Commission for Air Quality Management, burning instances in the States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, NCT of Delhi has come down. There is a need to encourage ex-situ management of paddy straw which will provide raw materials to the user industries like Power, biomass etc.” he added.
Appertatting the efforts being taken by the stakeholders, Narendra Singh Tomar said,”Due to the efforts of all the stakeholders, the events of paddy stubble burning are continuously coming down”.
He however, added that paddy stubble burning is not just related to pollution of Delhi and its adjoining areas… but it is also creating a detrimental effect on the farmland by adversely affecting the soil health and its fertility”.
“Our efforts have to be both for fighting air pollution in Delhi and for protecting the soil health, thereby protecting the ultimate interests of our farmers” he added.
As per the Ministry, the aim of the meeting is to achieve net -zero stubble burning in the current season.
The Ministry claimed that the center is providing sufficient funds under CRM scheme to the four States and they must ensure proper utilization by providing machines to the farmers in a timely manner.
“There is a need for proper monitoring at the State level to ensure proper utilization of the machines and the use of bio-decomposer” it said.
“Awareness creation to prevent stubble burning through various mechanisms needs to be stepped up… agencies like Agriculture Technology Management Agencies (ATMA) needs to be used to their fullest potential” the ministry emphasized.