The burning issue of stubble burning and ways to tackle the same was the focus of the Kisan Goshthee on paddy straw management, held during the ongoing four-day CII Agro Tech India 2018.
Farmers from various districts, experts from the industry and government officials discussed the issues and solutions to the problem of straw management, under one roof. The discussion was undertaken by a panel of experts that comprised – Baldev Singh, managing director, Amar agricultural machinery group, Harminder S Sidhu, a progressive farmer, Manmohan Kalia, joint director, agri-engineering, Punjab, Vikram Ahuja, owner, Zamindara farm solutions private limited and Arshdeep Singh, from Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). Talking about the subsidies given by the Punjab state government on purchase of machinery to cut the straw and manage it, Manmohan Kalia, emphasised working in groups of 8-10 farmers was beneficial.
“The farmers should use machines like happy seeder, combine with super SMS, ploughers, bailers etc to manage straw and mix it in the fields,” he suggested. Farmers present from various districts of Sangrur, Mohali, Ludhiana, Patiala etc, said that they should not be pressurised to adopt only one method for handling the crop residue.
“First of all, various options should be made available to us and then we should be given the authority to decide which method to go for. Also, human efforts should be recognised and not only machine use should be promoted,” said Tejinder Singh, farmer from Mohali. Other farmers raised their concerns about the machinery provided of not being at par with international standards, costs going up on using additional tools, lack of information on decomposing the stubble, and information on schemes not reaching them.
Arshdeep Singh, from PAU, discussed various in-house means on how to tackle straw and mix it into the fields. Baldev Singh and Harminder S Sidhu, also addressed the issues of the farmers and suggested formation of groups and availing schemes such as renting out equipment.