Formulate a policy on ‘The Pusa Decomposer’: The Best Solution To Curb Stubble Burning.
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Stubble Burning has been one of the major causes for high pollution levels in NCR and the northern India. This practice severely affects the soil fertility and makes the land unfit for agriculture. The toxic pollutants released into air causes severe respiratory and mental health hazards. This practice needs to be checked. Recently, Indian Agricultural Research Institute(IARI) at Pusa, has come up with the most practical and viable solution called ‘THE PUSA DECOMPOSER’.This is absolutely a natural and climate inviting strategy to break down the stubble in a less expense and time. The public authority and pertinent specialists are mentioned to figure an approach on execution of this decomposer technique at the earliest opportunity in every single farm of India.
Why slash and burn?
Stubble (parali) burning is an act of setting fire to crop residue to remove them from the field to sow the next crop.
In order to plant next winter crop (Rabi crop), farmers in Haryana and Punjab have to move in a very short interval and if they are late, due to short winters these days, they might face considerable losses. Therefore, burning is the cheapest and fastest way to get rid of the stubble.
Impact of stubble burning.
A study estimates that crop residue burning released 149.24 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), over 9 million tonnes of carbon monoxide (CO), 0.25 million tonnes of oxides of sulphur (SOX), 1.28 million tonnes of particulate matter and 0.07 million tonnes of black carbon. These directly contribute to environmental pollution, and are also responsible for 7-78% of the haze in Delhi and melting of Himalayan glaciers.
The heat from burning paddy straw penetrates 1 centimetre into the soil, elevating the temperature to 33.8 to 42.2 degree Celsius. This kills the bacterial and fungal populations critical for a fertile soil.
Burning of crop residue causes damage to other micro-organisms present in the upper layer of the soil as well as its organic quality. Due to the loss of ‘friendly’ pests, the wrath of ‘enemy’ pests has increased and as a result, crops are more prone to disease. The solubility capacity of the upper layers of soil have also been reduced.
What if we don’t curb this?
Delhi’s air quality levels in winter exacerbate respiratory problems and lead to disruption in air and road travel due to the poor visibility. It also effects the mental health leading to psychosomatic disorders and depression.
Doctors warn that respiratory problems caused due to stubble burning may even worse the Covid-19 fatality.
Farmers face constant reduction in the produce due to declining soil fertility. This may lead to food crisis in the coming years and also make the land unfit for agriculture.
What is Pusa Decomposer?
Pusa Decomposer, a microbial spray, developed by the Microbiology Division of the Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI), Delhi, is the harbinger of hope for an end to stubble burning. It has come up with a set of capsules, which are dissolved in water containing jaggery, chickpea flour and a set of 8 types of fungi, essential to quicken the decomposition of stubble. This is to be fermented for 3-4 days, and liquid so obtained is ready to be sprayed in the farmers’ field. The stubble gets completely decomposed within 3 weeks which is far less than natural decomposition
They state that four such capsules( each costing ₹5) are enough to make 25 litres, which can be sprayed over a hectare. Therefore, stubble gets converted into manure in the field and in turn increases soil fertility.
Why Pusa Decomposer?
There is another such other alternative, which the public authority is attempting to urge the farmers to utilize. 'Happy Seeder'. This machine eliminates the stubble from the field and sows new seeds. However, the farmers feel burning as a more feasible alternative as it spares less time and cost as compared to purchasing a collector.
Stubble burning costs around ₹1000 per acre, where as using ‘Happy Seeder’ costs ₹300 more than burning it.Whereas, The Pusa Decomposer costs only ₹300 per acre which includes capsules, jaggery water and chickpea flour. This is the most affordable and environment friendly method of stubble removal. This also increases the productivity of the soil. Satpal in Barsalu village in Karnal district said, “I get 1- 2 quintal of harvest extra since I started using Pusa Decomposer”.
Recently, The Government of Delhi has come up with this Pusa Decomposer in collaboration with IARI. The pilot projects are being held in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana regions.
Call for the action.
We encourage the Government specialists to perceive and execute 'The Pusa Decomposer' strategy in every single farm of India. Wide spread creation and conveyance of the cases is the need of great importance. With the appearance of harsh winters in the coming months and the compounding of pandemic situation, stubble burning will aggravate the issue significantly more.
Please sign this petition to compel The Government of India, Ministry of Agriculture and farmers’ welfare, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Central pollution control board and environment secretaries of every state to recognise and formulate policies for wide spread implementation of ‘The Pusa Decomposer’ method.
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