A farmer burns paddy stubble at Bhat Majra in Haryana.(HT archive)
A farmer burns paddy stubble at Bhat Majra in Haryana.(HT archive)

ICAR stubble burning solution shows promising results at trials in Delhi, Punjab

The Delhi government adopted the technology from IARI to prevent burning of paddy stubble in about 700 hectares of rice fields, a project that cost Rs20 lakh
By Zia Haq | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON NOV 26, 2020 12:03 PM IST

A proprietary microbial solution developed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) could be a breakthrough in the hunt for a solution to crop-residue burning, a major cause of winter pollution in north India, results from trials in Delhi and Punjab show.

“The ICAR’s invention, named Pusa, decomposes crop residue, including paddy straw, and turns it into manure in about 25 days, thus eliminating the need to burn paddy stubble. It could be a breakthrough if adopted with an integrated approach,” YV Singh, principal scientist of microbiology at Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), an affiliate institution of the ICAR which developed the solution, told HT.

Singh said the technology had an efficacy range of 70%-80%, citing results from its use in 24 villages in Delhi this October. This means it can successfully decompose up to 80% of the straw in a given area.

The Delhi government adopted the technology from IARI to prevent burning of paddy stubble in about 700 hectares of rice fields, a project that cost Rs20 lakh.

The institute has applied for a patent for the technology and is in the process of signing contracts with private firms to commercially market the product, Singh said.

Also read | Delhi govt asks Centre to use bio decomposer in Punjab, Haryana

Assuming farmers in Punjab burn paddy straw in at least two million hectares, it will cost the state Rs571 crore to fund the use of Pusa decomposer to eliminate stubble burning, HT’s calculation based on the Delhi government’s costs show.

Farmers across Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh typically harvest paddy in October and then set their fields on fire to clear rice stalks for the next crop. It is the fastest and cheapest way to clear the fields of unwanted stalks.

The burning of more than seven million hectares of crop residues has emerged as one of the biggest sources of winter pollution, resulting in weeks-long smog in New Delhi every October and November.

Burning paddy straw has emerged as a big problem in the past two to three decades as farmers have shifted to mechanised combine harvesters, which cut the grainy part of a rice plant, leaving the stalk intact.

While the straw from basmati rice, which is mostly exported, is soft enough to be used as fodder, the residue of other rice varieties, which account for most paddy acreage, is too stiff to be of any use. Farmers say they have few effective, affordable alternatives to burning.

Pusa decomposer comes in the form of capsules that contain an activated package of eight strains of fungi, Singh said. To prepare a solution of 25 litres, farmers need to add four capsules of the decomposer, along with jaggery and checkpea flour, to water. Within a week, a good layer of fungi admixture is formed. To decompose paddy stubble in one hectare, farmers need to spray 25 litres of this solution.

According to A. Amarender Reddy, the principal scientist at the Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture, microbial agents in the solution act on the straw to make it soft, break down its components and release nutrients into the soil.

The IARI is trying to popularise its solution in Punjab and Haryana, where farmers have used it in about 12000 hectares, which is just a fraction of the total rice acreage. “Some form of subsidy may be needed to popularise its use,” said Singh said.

The farm ministry already runs a programme called “Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for In-Situ Management of Crop Residue in the State of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh & NCT of Delhi” with funds worth Rs1,151 crore from 2018-19 to 2019-20 to subsidise machinery needed for management of crop residue. According to data from the Punjab Remote Sensing Centre, the state witnessed 40,000 incidents of farm fires on November 5.

Five years ago, the National Green Tribunal, an environmental court, banned stubble burning. Punjab authorities fine farmers if they defy the ban but such coercive methods have proved to be of little help.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Topics
app
Close
The web series Mirzapur was launched in 2018 by Excel Entertainment and due to its successful run, the second edition of the web series was launched in October 2020. (HT FILE PHOTO).
The web series Mirzapur was launched in 2018 by Excel Entertainment and due to its successful run, the second edition of the web series was launched in October 2020. (HT FILE PHOTO).

SC notice on plea to ban Mirzapur web series, set up pre-screening body for OTT

By Abraham Thomas
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 01:27 AM IST
  • The petition demanded an immediate ban on further screening of the web series and sought directions from the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to set up a pre-screening committee for censoring content of similar web series, movies or other programmes release on OTT platforms.
Close
Covid-19 vaccines being unloaded from a flight at the Dehradun airport. (HT PHOTO).
Covid-19 vaccines being unloaded from a flight at the Dehradun airport. (HT PHOTO).

Double temperature checks, regular monitoring keep vaccines safe in Uttarakhand

PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 01:18 AM IST
  • Uttarakhand at present has over 92,000 doses of Covishield vaccine, after a second consignment was received by the state on Wednesday afternoon. The state received the first consignment of 1.13 lakh vaccines on January 13.
Close
Issuing a notice on Shinde’s petition, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde asked the MCGM and its Mayor to respond whether the power to have a Leader of Opposition for the House could be exercised only once during the term of the House. (HT FILE PHOTO).
Issuing a notice on Shinde’s petition, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde asked the MCGM and its Mayor to respond whether the power to have a Leader of Opposition for the House could be exercised only once during the term of the House. (HT FILE PHOTO).

SC issues notice on BJP leader's plea, wants Mumbai mayor's response in 15 days

By Abraham Thomas
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 12:57 AM IST
  • The plea before the court was made by BJP councillor Prabhakar Tukaram Shinde, who is currently the Group Leader of the BJP in MCGM.
Close
BJP president JP Nadda will visit Chinhat in Uttar Pradesh on Friday to hold a meeting with the workers of the rural areas. (ANI PHOTO).
BJP president JP Nadda will visit Chinhat in Uttar Pradesh on Friday to hold a meeting with the workers of the rural areas. (ANI PHOTO).

Nadda meets UP ministers, asks them to prep for 2022 assembly polls

PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 12:34 AM IST
  • BJP state unit general secretary Ashwani Tyagi said the party’s national chief reviewed the working of the ministers. He applauded the state government and CM Yogi Adityanath for providing momentum to development work amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Close
Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) Chairman Anit Thapa during a rally at Sukna in Siliguri in December 2020.(PTI)
Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) Chairman Anit Thapa during a rally at Sukna in Siliguri in December 2020.(PTI)

Citizenship row hits GTA chairman Anit Thapa after Nepalese portal’s claim

PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 12:14 AM IST
  • Anit Thapa refuted the portal's claim and claimed it was a conspiracy.
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Dissent escalates in K’taka BJP against BSY after cabinet reshuffle

By Sharan Poovanna
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 12:11 AM IST
Bengaluru: Hours after he shuffled his cabinet to allocate portfolios to newly inducted ministers, Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa faced a backlash on Thursday from both the old guard and the new entrants, leaving the 77-year-old seemingly isolated
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Sasikala tests positive for Covid days before release from prison

By Sharan Poovanna and Divya Chandrababu
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 12:11 AM IST
Chennai and Bengaluru: VK Sasikala, the jailed associate of late Tamil Nadu chief minister J
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Will decide in 4 weeks on mercy plea of Rajiv case convict: TN Guv to SC

By Abraham Thomas, New delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 12:10 AM IST
Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Thursday told the Supreme Court that a decision on the mercy petition of one of the convicts serving a life sentence for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, AG Perarivalan will be taken within four weeks
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Internal elections, upcoming assembly polls in focus as Cong Working Committee meets today

PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 12:09 AM IST
New Delhi:The Congress Working Committee meeting on Friday might consider the upcoming assembly elections in four states and the time required for the party’s election authority (CEA) to prepare the ground for internal elections, before drawing up a schedule for the latter, which could see the election of a new president
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Ahead of elections, TMC says BSF being misused

PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 12:08 AM IST
Kolkata The ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission of India alleging that the Border Security Force was threatening people living in areas in the state bordering Bangladesh, asking them to vote for a particular political party
Close
HT Image
HT Image

5 dead as fire breaks out at Serum facility

By Shalaka Shinde, Pune
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 11:59 PM IST
Five people were killed in a blaze that ripped through the top floor and partially damaged another floor of a five-storey building at a facility of the Serum Institute of India (SII) in Pune on Thursday, but the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer said the incident will not hit the production of coronavirus shot Covishield
Close
HT Image
HT Image

IT panel quizzes Facebook, Twitter over data protection

By Deeksha Bhardwaj
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 11:57 PM IST
New Delhi: The parliamentary panel on information technology on Thursday quizzed Facebook and Twitter over their data-sharing and protection protocols in the wake of recent changes to WhatsApp’s privacy policy that have since been deferred , people familiar with the proceedings said
Close
HT Image
HT Image

‘Construction in our own territory’: China on Arunachal village report

By Sutirtho Patranobis
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 11:56 PM IST
Beijing China on Thursday dismissed a report that said it had built a village in Arunachal Pradesh, saying the construction activities were within its own territory and its sovereign right
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Army plans to deploy 10,000 troops as LAC reinforcements

PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2021 11:52 PM IST
NEW DELHI: With a planned and gradual drawdown of soldiers underway in the Northeast ,where the security situation has significantly improved, the Indian Army plans to redeploy up to 10,000 extra troops by the year-end to carry out the force’s primary task --- dealing with the Chinese threat in the eastern sector, people familiar with the development said on Tuesday on condition of anonymity
Close
The RJD chief has been at the RIMS since December 2018 for kidney-related ailments.(PTI)
The RJD chief has been at the RIMS since December 2018 for kidney-related ailments.(PTI)

Lalu Prasad under observation at RIMS after contracting pneumonia

UPDATED ON JAN 22, 2021 12:41 AM IST
  • RIMS Director Dr Kameshwar Prasad said it seems to be a case of acute pneumonia and he has been put under round-the-clock observation.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP