Amritsar, September 28
For the past many years, the state government has been trying to stop farmers from burning crop residue in their fields after harvesting, but has failed. One of the reasons behind this is that farmers believe that the suggested alternatives are not only costly but also unviable.
“There is not much time span between harvesting and sowing of paddy. Mixing paddy residue requires ploughing and a large quantity of diesel is needed for the process,” claimed a farmer, Manjinder Singh, adding that the input cost on diesel increases their expenditure by almost Rs 2,000 per acre.
The farmers suggested that there is a need to set up industries that can use crop residue for making cardboards or other items. They stated that presently, even if they use baler machines to make bales, these are of no use to them.
“Some marlas of land are required to store the bales and these heaps become a breeding ground for mouse and other reptiles which cause damage to crops,” claimed another farmer, Sukhwant Singh.
With the farmer unions already threatening to dump the crop residue outside the office of Cabinet Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal, if action is taken against the farmers, the government will have to face a tough time in implementing the ban orders.
A section of the farming community also feels that there is a need to motivate and aware farmers. “Some farmers have not burnt the crop residue in their fields for the last many years and have not complained of any problems,” said another farmer Kuljit Singh.
These farmers stated that the government should also give financial assistance to small and marginal farmers, who have neither the required machinery nor are they aware of the harms of burning stubble. “For them, burning makes their job easy and economical,” said a farmer.
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