Producing biochar from stubble: Punjab's loss, Bihar's gain : The Tribune India

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Producing biochar from stubble: Punjab's loss, Bihar's gain

Producing biochar from stubble: Punjab's loss, Bihar's gain

The biochar pyramid set up in Bihar. File Photo



Tribune News Service

Manav Mander

Ludhiana, November 10

The state has not adopted the technology for producing ‘biochar’ from stubble, but the same is undergoing trial in Bihar and is reportedly yielding good results.

The technology for producing biochar from stubble was the brainchild of Dr RK Gupta, retired professor and head, Department of Soil Science, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU).

Improves soil health

  • The method not only manages crop residue, but also helps in improving soil health and environmental quality

The technology not only manages crop residue, but also helps in improving soil health and environmental quality by reducing emissions by 70 per cent as compared to open burning. It has been undergoing trial for two years with biochar furnaces having been set up at 12 Krishi Vigyan Kendras in Bihar.

Dr Gupta, who is currently working as professor, School of Agriculture, Lovely Professional University, said the technology was developed in 2016 by him. In Punjab, it was set up at Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) at Ladowal, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Bathinda, but it was never adopted by farmers as the university didn’t get the required assistance. Punjab failed to adopt it, but Bihar would get its benefits, he said.

Dr Gupta said the technique could help reduce environmental pollution and using it as manure could help in improving soil health, grain yield and lead to improvement in infiltration rate and water holding capacity of soil.

Dr RK Sohane, Director, Extension Education, Bihar Agricultural University, Bhagalpur, said they had developed 200 models in 12 districts and they were providing biochar to farmers to add to their soil on experimental basis.

“We started the experiment in 2021 and have received positive results from the farmers. Once the experiment is over, we will recommend the government to provide subsidy to farmers for it. It costs around Rs 50,000 - 70,000 for setting up one furnace,” said Dr Sohane.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

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