Ludhiana, November 17
Farmers are eager to adopt ex-situ methods over the in-situ methods for crop residue management but the non-availability of the machines, high cost and number of machinery required for the complete process is the main stumbling block. Baler is the most preferred option by the farmers as the entire stubble is collected from the fields and the field is ready for wheat crop.
What else the farmers want, if his field is clear and ready for the wheat sowing. In-situ methods consume lot of time while balers cover more land as compared to them. — Harinder Singh Lakhowal, BKU general secretary
In Ludhiana, there are currently 214 balers operating and majority of them are owned by the private operators. Individual farmers and co-operatives desist from buying this machine due to its huge cost. Farmers demand that government should provide them balers on rental basis and help them in uplifting stubble from their fields.
“We are small farmers and we cannot afford costly machines even after subsidy. Government is blaming us for burning paddy and want us to adopt alternatives. We are ready to use the machines but it should be available first. There is no industry around Jagraon and hence there are no machines available. Currently machines are available only when there is industry around the area,” said Gagandeep from Agwar Rahlan village.
Another farmer, Rameshinder Singh from Raikot said that he harvested the crop in the first week of November and kept waiting for the baler machine operator but he turned up after fifteen days. “The easy availability of the machines can help farmers in managing stubble properly,” he said.
The cost of the complete unit is around Rs 15 lakhs and includes two machines, a baler and a straw rake and in addition to this, three to four tractors are also required for the complete process of gathering paddy straw, making its bales and transporting it to the industry. A baler can collect stubble from around 15 acres in a day.
Chief Agriculture Officer, Dr Narinder Singh, said this year they received 400 applications for balers out of which 104 were approved and 80 machines have been given. Individual farmers are given 50 per cent subsidy, while custom hiring centres are given up to 80 per cent subsidy.
Harinder Singh Lakhowal, general secretary of the Bhartiya Kisan Union said that balers are in much demand by the farmers but that these are not available due to various reasons.
“What else the farmers want, if his field is clear and ready for the wheat sowing. In-situ methods consume lot of time while balers cover more land as compared to them,” he said.
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