Tuesday, March 21, 2023
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Tuesday, March 21, 2023
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Punjab And Delhi Governments Decide Not To Pay Cash Incentives For Paddy Crop Growers

In order to encourage farmers in the northern state to avoid burning paddy stubble during the winter harvest, which is one of the main causes of an annual pollution issue in the national capital and its environs, the Punjab and Delhi governments have abandoned their original plan.

Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal, the state’s agriculture minister, made the announcement a few days after the Center rejected a combined proposal from the two states to reward paddy farmers with 2,500 rupees per acre for not burning crop residue. HT reported last week that Punjab and Delhi still wanted to proceed with their portion of the payments, even though the proposal had called for 1,500 per acre from the Centre’s coffers and 500 from each of those two states.

In answer to a query regarding the financial incentive program, the minister stated on Thursday, “How can we pay when the Center is not giving?”

Punjab is undoubtedly under a lot of financial strain, and senior officials have been ordered to reduce unnecessary spending.

Both the Delhi government and the Central Government did not immediately respond.

According to the joint proposal, Punjab and Delhi’s governments would each contribute 375 crore, and they would ask the Center for an additional 1,125 crore, bringing the total to 1,875 crore, according to authorities. He claimed, “We (the governments of Punjab and Delhi) created a programme for the greater benefit of the farmers, but the Centre rejected it. However, he continued, “the Punjab government is providing enough subsidised machines to the farmers for in-situ management of paddy stubble and is also convincing them not to burn the crop residue.”

Dhaliwal claims that a total of 452 crore will be spent on subsidized machinery, and 32,100 various kinds of machines will be provided to the farmers.

In the meantime, as an alternate strategy, Delhi and Punjab have teamed up to employ Pusa bio-decomposer on 5,000 acres of land in the agrarian state. Pusa bio-decomposer is a microbial solution that can degrade paddy straw in 15 to 20 days.

The bio-decomposer will be sprayed over 5,000 acres or 2,023 hectares of land in Punjab as part of a pilot project that will be carried out with the assistance of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI). According to estimates, Punjab’s entire paddy-growing area would be between 29 and 30 lakh hectares this year. The state produces over 20 million tonne of paddy straw each year on average.

“Joint meeting with representatives of IARI Pusa and the Punjab Agriculture Minister Kuldeep Dhaliwal ji on stubble pollution. Under the direction of IARI, free bio-decomposer spraying would be conducted in a few regions of Punjab this year as a pilot initiative, according to a tweet from Delhi’s environment minister Gopal Rai.

The choice was made following a combined coordination conference with Rai, Dhaliwal, and IARI, Pusa experts.

Balbir Singh Rajewal, president of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), stated, “We knew this was going to happen sooner or later. The AAP government made huge promises but then backtracked.

In a very small number of Delhi neighborhoods, according to Rai, paddy is grown. The bio-decomposer was deployed there last year to stop stubble burning from polluting Delhi. “The procedure led to the decomposition of stubble and an improvement in the fertility of the soil. This year, the Delhi government would reapply biodecomposer to paddy fields.

The majority of farmers burn the leftovers because it is an efficient and affordable approach to prepare the fields for the rabi season wheat crop planting, for which the window is frequently very little. As a result, dangerously high levels of air pollution are reported in Delhi and its surroundings.

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