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Posted at: Nov 20, 2019, 8:22 AM; last updated: Nov 20, 2019, 8:22 AM (IST)

Youngsters lead no-stubble burning drive

Youngsters lead no-stubble burning drive
Harpreet in his fields at Talwandi Khurd. TRIBUNE PHOTO

Minna Zutshi

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 19

The months of October and November saw young farmers from Talwandi Khurd village in Ludhiana spearheading the campaign against stubble burning in their village. Farmers Bhawandeep Singh and Harpreet Singh believe that if the farmers adopt in-situ straw management techniques, the soil quality and biodiversity would improve and the environmental impact of stubble burning would automatically be avoided.

This is the second consecutive ‘no-stubble-burning’ year for Harpreet who has been using farm equipment such as Happy Seeder, rotovator and managing stubble without burning it. “Like last year, this year too I have managed to save money if we factor in the cost that would have been incurred in replenishing the lost soil nutrients such as potash had the stubble been burnt,” he says. A recent campaign against stubble burning conducted under the aegis of NABARD Punjab revealed that loss of nutrients can count up to Rs 1410 per hectare when stubble is burnt.

Both Bhawandeep Singh and Harpreet Singh have experienced the positive impact of incorporating stubble back into the soil. No farmer should burn stubble as straw burning kills farmer-friendly insects. It destroys biodiversity, say the farmers.

“It is time that we do away with the mechanical approach to our fields. We cannot adopt thoughtless shortcuts such as burning the stubble. We have to start thinking in terms of replenishing the soil and nourishing it and protecting the flora and fauna. In turn, the soil will nourish us and our families. We reap what we sow,” says Harpreet. He adds that it is a myth perpetuated for sheer convenience that alternatives to stubble burning are financially draining.

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