BHOPAL (Madhya Pradesh): Giving tips to farmers to prevent fire damaging standing crops, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has advised cultivators not to burn stubble.
He also asked farmers to be watchful and avoid smoking near fields as standing crops may get damaged. He advised the farmers to use reapers and chaff cutters cautiously.
In 2019, the Supreme Court ordered states to give Rs 2,400 per acre to every farmer who do not burn stubbles. Another potential game-changer, a bio-decomposer developed by Indian Agricultural Research Institute, turns crop residue into manure in 15 to 20 days. But some farmers say they don't have so much time between crops.
According to agriculture experts, policy and money should incentivise farmers in the region to plant more fruits and vegetables. India needs more vitamins and protein rather than wheat and rice. This will generate greenery and since vegetable and fruit crops don't leave stubble, it'll bring down the number of open fires. But it will lead to shortage of fodders for cattle.
Farmer Kedar Sirohi said, ìExtreme heat wave conditions and lack of moisture have made vegetation brittle and dry. This makes crops easily combustible. Secondly, high tension line, which passes over standing crops, cause fire. Farmers do not have fodders for animals. It is also a major issue.
Former Agriculture Director Dr GS Kuasal said, Farmers should be discouraged to burn stubbles as it has two demerits. Animals will not get fodders and it will sterlise soil. Secondly, cultivating more fruits and vegetable is good but it will lead to shortage of fodders for animals. Ultimately, we have to stop burning of stubbles.