Distancing from the political war of words over stubble burning, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has urged for collective steps to solve the problem.
Addressing farmers who used Pusa decomposer developed by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) for efficient management of paddy stubble, Mr. Tomar said the States and the Centre should work together for a scientific solution to the problem. Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav and the BJP had blamed the AAP Government in Punjab for the air pollution in Delhi.
Mr. Tomar said a discussion on managing the paddy straw is more important than a political discussion. “The problem of stubble burning is serious and levelling allegations and counter allegations on this issue are not justified. Be it the Central or State governments or farmers, everyone has the same objective that agriculture should flourish in the country and there is prosperity for farmers,” the Minister said.
He added that burning of stubble causes harm to the environment and to people and therefore a way should be found to deal with it and follow that path. The decomposer developed by the IARI, he said, not only ensures that the soil will be safe, but also pollution will be reduced.
The Union Agriculture Ministry said in a release that the Pusa decomposer has been used in 26 lakh acres in Uttar Pradesh, five lakh acres in Punjab, 3.5 lakh acres in Haryana and 10,000 acres in Delhi and its use has yielded very good results.
Mr. Tomar said the Centre has provided more than ₹3000 crore to Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi governments for stubble management.
“A comprehensive solution to this problem is possible with optimum utilisation of 2.07 lakh machines made available to the States for stubble management with the assistance provided by the Centre. Also, using the Pusa decomposer developed by the Pusa Institute will increase the fertility of cultivable land along with solving the problem,” he said.