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Punjab plans to provide 22,000 straw management machines for 2023 kharif season to check stubble

Jun 15, 2023Jun 15, 2023

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Updated At:Aug 13, 202308:03 PM (IST)

Photo for representational purpose only. PTI file


Chandigarh, August 13

The Punjab Government plans to provide more than 22,000 crop residue management machines on subsidy under a Rs 350 crore action plan for the 2023 kharif season (August-November) to check stubble-burning incidents in the state, said a senior official.

Under the paddy straw management plan, the state agriculture department is also targeting zero stubble-burning incidents in seven districts –Gurdaspur, Pathankot, Hoshiarpur, Rupnagar, Mohali, SBS Nagar and Malerkotla and 50 per cent reduction in stubble fire cases in Patiala, Sangrur, Faridkot and Muktsar districts, said the official.

In the 2022 kharif season, Punjab had seen a 30 per cent drop in stubble-burning incidents to 49,907 from 71,304 in 2021.

“We have an action plan of Rs 350 crore for the paddy straw management,” said Punjab Agriculture Director Gurwinder Singh.

Under this action for paddy straw management, around 21,000 machines for in-situ management (mixing crop residue in fields) and 1,800 balers for ex-situ (using stubble as fuel) will be given to farmers.

Crop residue management machinery like super seeder, smart seeder, happy seeder, paddy straw chopper, shredder, mulcher, hydraulic reversible mould board plough and zero till drill for in-situ management and balers for in ex-situ management will be available on subsidy.

Individual farmers can avail 50 per cent subsidy while cooperative societies and custom hiring centres can avail 80 per cent subsidy for straw management machinery, said the officials.

Since the launch of a scheme for the promotion of agricultural mechanization for crop residue management in 2018, Punjab has distributed 1.17 lakh such machines so far.

The Centre had provided funds of Rs 1,400 crore in the last five years to Punjab for crop residue management as 100 per cent grant.

But the Centre this year decided to contribute 60 per cent as its share while Punjab will be contributing the rest 40 per cent share in the action plan of Rs 350 crore.

“The Union Government will contribute Rs 210 crore while the state government will put in Rs 140 crore,” said the official.

With about 31 lakh hectares of paddy area, Punjab produces over 200 lakh tonne of paddy straw every year and of which 120 lakh tonne was being managed through in-situ and ex-situ management methods.

Paddy straw burning in Punjab and Haryana is one of the reasons behind the alarming spike in air pollution levels in the national capital and northern parts in October and November.

As the window for Rabi crop wheat is very short after paddy harvest, farmers set their fields on fire to quickly clear off the crop residue for sowing of the next crop.

This season, the agriculture department is anticipating about 10 per cent less generation of paddy straw because of sowing of short-duration PR-126 variety at a sizeable area in the state.

Many farmers went for the PR-126 variety of paddy when they had to resow their crop after their earlier transplanted paddy was damaged because of floodwaters in July.

According to the official, the PR-126 variety matures in 93 days after transplantation and it leaves behind less straw as against traditional long-duration crop varieties.

Several areas in Punjab were hit after a downpour lashed the border state from July 9 till July 11, flooding vast expanse of agricultural fields and paralysing normal life.




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