Coming together against stubble-burning - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Coming together against stubble-burning

Coming together against stubble-burning

Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service
Moga, September 9

To encourage farmers to stop the practice of stubble-burning, Guru Sahib Charitable Trust, based at Khosa Pando village in Moga district, led by philanthropist Baba Gurmeet Singh, has established Udhami Kisan self-help group. The group provides agro-machineries at nominal rent to manage crop residues, particularly, paddy stubble.

Jagseer Singh, a farmer and president of the self-help group (SHG), said they had set up an agro-machinery bank, comprising of the equipment needed to manage the paddy residue, including Mulcher, Happy Seeder, Bailer, Zero Drill and Roto Seeder, which they provide to village farmers at very nominal rent so that they don’t burn the stubble and straw.

Jagseer, who himself cultivates paddy on 40 acres, said he had stopped putting a matchstick to the residue three years ago. “Stubble-burning not only pollutes the environment but also deteriorates fertility of the soil. I have started ploughing the paddy residue in the soil, which increases its fertility and helps increase the yield of the next crop,” he maintained.

He said they motivate farmers not to burn crop residue by highlighting its ill-effects on health and environment. Their initiative had shown results, with over 90 per cent farmers in the Khosa Pando village having stopped burning stubble. The farmers of nearby villages had also started approaching them to get machinery on lease, Jagseer added.

Balwinder Singh, Chief Agriculture Officer (CAO) of Moga, appreciated the initiative and called upon people of other villages to form such self-help groups to work collectively to make Punjab a zero stubble-burning state.

He said the Agriculture Department had also been providing agro-machineries and other farm equipments to farmers with huge subsidies.

The CAO said during the current year, 600 farm equipments would be provided to the farmers in Moga district with a subsidy component of Rs 10.42 crore to manage crop residue.

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