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1. Pollution by stubble burning has become an annual phenomenon in large parts of Northern India.
2. This is observed in states like Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.
What are the reasons for stubble burning?
1. There exist a small gap of time between the harvesting of paddy and sowing of the other main crops mainly wheat.
2. Farmers face limitations in disposing of the straw as they couldn’t find a better alternative to burning.
3. Cleaning the land and preparing the seedbed for wheat in time also leads them to burn them.
How to address this issue?
1. Stubble is an asset that can yield income and provide fertility to the soil.
2. Disposing the paddy straw is simple and remunerative and must be adopted at the earliest.
3. But it faces problems at micro as well as macro level concerned with food security and concerns of the farm community.
4. The problem must be dealt with alternative measures like cooperative model to address it in a viable and sustainable manner.
Why is a cooperative model required?
1. Reduction of the sizeable area under paddy would reduce the generation of straw.
2. But it is not a feasible alternative as it will affect food security.
3. So, measures like manufacturing of paper and cardboard, production of mushroom where paddy straw can be used as raw material need to be promoted.
4. Cooperative models, like in dairy, are to be adopted as individual models are not feasible and cannot be economical.
5. A cooperative society with the membership of local farmers and farm labourers can be formed.
6. Such bodies must be affiliated to the apex body of the State federation of cooperative for rice straw management.
7. This will tackle the problem of proper straw management and will also generate income and employment in the state.
8. Cooperative model for the production of bio-gas can also help the farmers and farm labourers throughout the State.
9. But encouragement and sponsorship of the State is important to make it workable.