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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Farmers exhorted against paddy straw burning at night camp

HT Correspondent  Ludhiana, October 20, 2013
First Published: 18:52 IST(20/10/2013) | Last Updated: 18:53 IST(20/10/2013)

In a unique effort to reach farmers, the School of Climate Change and Agricultural Meteorology of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) and Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Fatehgarh Sahib, organised a night camp at Balari Kalan village on Saturday.

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The camp aimed to create awareness about paddy straw burning, its implications and remedial measures. The farmers and villagers were shown a documentary video film on climate change, its implications and adaptation strategies.

School director SS Kukal discussed the importance of water in daily life. He highlighted the implications of fast depleting water resources and made the farmers aware about various techniques of judicial water use in agriculture.

Kukal said, “In Punjab, more than 22 million tonnes of paddy straw is produced annually. The field burning of paddy straw is a major contributor to reduced air quality and human respiratory ailments apart from substantial loss of plant nutrients and organic carbon which is important for soil health.”

Harinder Singh, deputy director, KVK, Fatehgarh Sahib, shared the positive response of the farmers, who used Happy Seeder technique for sowing wheat crop without burning rice stubbles.

Sandeep Singh Sandhu, assistant agronomist, explained other options of wheat sowing after rice without burning of paddy straw.

Prabhjyot Kaur, agro-meteorologist, discussed the issue of climate change and its impact on agriculture in Punjab. She pointed out that burning of paddy straw by the farmers not only aggravated the environmental pollution but also led to deterioration of soil health.

The farmers of the village took keen interest in all presentations, and interacted with the scientists. They appreciated the efforts of PAU scientists in organising the camp. After watching the video film and climate change presentations, the farmers pledged not to burn rice stubbles in their fields.

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