In a bid to create awareness about the ill effects of residue burning and available technologies and interventions for management of residue, Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) of Haryana and Punjab are organising mass awareness campaign during April 16 to May 1, 2015. The theme of the campaign is Vatavaran Ko Bachao, Bhuse Ko Na Jalao (save the environment, don’t burn the residue) and Khet Ke Avsesh, Khet Main (Let the waste of filed, in the field).
Initiating the campaign at KVK, Ropar, Punjab, Dr Rajbir Singh, Zonal Project Director, Zone-1, KVKs, informed the farmers that burning of crop residue leads to smoke, release of greenhouse gases in addition to the loss of plant nutrients and severe effect on human health. The crop residue can be used for soil health improvement, reducing pollution, increasing productivity and increasing sustainability and resilience of agriculture. He advised the farmers to adopt resource conservation technologies under the changing scenario of climate change.
Dr. Rajinder Singh Sidhu, Director of Extension Education, Punjab Agricultural University, informed on the recently developed technologies for the farmers such as web based disease forecasting system. He stressed upon the use of recommended varieties of rice and adoption of water saving technologies such as tensiometer in rice.
Dr. Harinder Singh, Programme Coordinator, KVK, said, it is right time to sow summer moong which can be sown by zero seed drill and happy seeder and farmers can save one third nitrogen in the coming rice crop beside good crop of moong. He also informed that more than 40 acres of demonstrations of happy seeder sown wheat have been conducted in the NICRA (National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture) villages.
In another programme, Dr. Jagdish Grover, Associate Director, KVK Bathinda informed the farmers that burning of stalk is a punishable act under the law. Scientists of KVK educated the farmers about alternative sources of stalk management. This includes making good quality paper and cardboard. Wheat straw can be used to make compost for mushroom cultivation, to feed the animals in straw farm, as a fuel for brick kiln industry. Moong crop can be sown in the field with standing stalk by using happy seeder.
Farmers on this occasion also took an oath not to burn wheat stalk and to adopt alternative management techniques and promised to stop this menace.
A quiz for farmers for stopping the burning of crop residue was also arranged to encourage the farmers and prizes were distributed to winners. Progressive farmers of the village who conducted demonstrations on sowing of wheat with happy seeder shared their experiences. More than 150 farmers participated in the Kisan Gosthi (farmers’ meet), organised on the first day of the campaign in Ludhiana.