Going ahead on the agenda of curtailing stubble burning, Government will provide crop residue management machinery at a substantial subsidy, informed Viswajeet Khanna ACS (Development). Giving details he said that as a part of the New Scheme for Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for In-Situ Management of Crop Residue, Rs.665 Crore would be spent in two years on various components of the scheme and under this scheme a package of agricultural machinery for stubble management would be provided at 80 percent subsidy to the Cooperative Societies and other groups while the same would be given to the individuals at 50 percent subsidy.Mr. Khanna said that in the last couple of years various initiatives have been under taken to sensitize farmers against stubble burning but due to non-availability of microbial solution to be compose the large volume of paddy straw and limited time gap between harvesting of paddy and sowing of other crops, wheat and vegetables, the farmers generally resort to crop residue burning. So, mechanical solutions have been worked out and to promote them at large scale awareness campaign would be kick started shortly. The campaign would focus on dispelling doubts regarding cons of mechanization and educating the farmers to use stubble management machinery.
He said that the field visits, demonstration, training, literature distribution and other initiatives of agriculture department would be complemented by tapping progressive farmers through social media platforms, whatsapp, documentaries, radio jingles and print as well as electronic media.Special mobile awareness vans would also be run to carry forward the awareness campaign. Moreover, the volunteers, renowned farmers, public representatives and missionaries would also be roped in pushing forward the campaign.ACS added that it would be made mandatory for the farmers availing subsidy on stubble management machinery to shun crop residue burning else they would have to refund the subsidy amount to the Government.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Baldev Singh Dhillon Vice Chancellor PAU Ludhiana, said that burning crop residue causes phenomenal pollution problems and deterioration in air and soil health. So, PAU is working consistently in the direction of crop residue management and sensitizing farmers towards it. Updating about initiatives of PAU towards generating awareness about shunning stubble burning he said that 11,000 farmers have been taken to field visits to the places where stubble management has been successfully carried out through happy seeders and mulchers.Besides others senior officers of Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Cooperation, Horticulture, Soil Conservation, Animal Husbandry, Rural Development & Panchayat, Pollution Control Board, Informtion and Public Relations, Scientists of PAU, Ludhiana, Zonal Centre of Indian Council of Agriculture Research, Ludhiana were present on the occasion.