Less machines to blame for stubble fires: Experts - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Sunday, November 10, 2019

Less machines to blame for stubble fires: Experts


Less machines to blame for stubble fires: Experts

Karam Prakash

Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 9

The initiative of the state government to provide subsidised machines for in situ management of stubbles didn’t work out as much as it should have been. The reason being financially the machines were not viable for farmers. Moreover, the machines were not made readily available owing to the cumbersome process.

However, smog seems to be over, but it has left many questions to be answered. In fact, the state government’s tall claim of putting extensive efforts to curb farm fires were a posturing because it couldn’t even (as per the data given by the Punjab Agriculture Department) provide sufficient machines for in situ management of crop residue.

The said machines were supposed to be given to farmers on subsidised rates — 50 per cent subsidy to individual farmers and 80 per cent to group farmers — so as to manage crop residue in situ.

Experts said the in situ management of crop residue was the only solution to end stubble burning. The government disappointed farmers by failing to meet the demand for straw management machines because it could cater to only 53 per cent farmers till October 22. The farmers had ordered around 19,042 machines, including happy seeders, mulchers, straw shredders and super straw management system, this season. However, the government delivered only 10,111 machines to either individual or group of farmers.

Of the total application received by the Agriculture Department, 7,196 machines were ordered by individual farmers, while 11, 847 machines by a group of farmers.

Decline in number 

  • This year, the number of machines for crop management distributed to the farmers by the state government has seen a sharp decline 
  • The state government has provided 10,111 machines this year in comparison to around 28,600 in 2018 

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