Meerut farmers don't burn crop stubble: they make manure out of it

November 13, 2017 09:29 pm | Updated 09:43 pm IST - Meerut:

 A farmer fills a compost pit with sugarcane leaves to make fertilizer in Meerut.

A farmer fills a compost pit with sugarcane leaves to make fertilizer in Meerut.

With stubble burning being held responsible for raising pollution to dangerous levels in the National Capital Region, over 50 villages in Meerut in western Uttar Pradesh have started an environment-friendly initiative. They have stopped burning crop residue, paddy waste and sugarcane leaves; instead, their farmers have started making organic manure from the remains. In the process, in the past one year alone, they prevented 2,250,000 kg of carbon dioxide from being released in the environment.

The practice of stubble burning is confined mainly to Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh. During the summer last year, over 250 farmers from 50 villages in Meerut division came up with a model that uses large quantities of paddy waste and sugarcane leaves to make rich quality of organic manure in a compost pit.

Kanwar Singh of Atrada village, for instance, doesn’t buy fertiliser any more.“I have been using the fertiliser which I prepare in the compost pit I made with the help of Neer Foundation. I use the crop waste and mix it with cow dung and water. In 20 days organic fertiliser is ready,” Mr. Singh told The Hindu . Neer Foundation is an NGO that works on environmental-friendly methods of farming.

Rajendar Singh, a resident of Narangpur village, said that not burning the crop stubble and using it to make fertiliser not only saved money but also the environment, besides further enriching the soil.

Raman Kant, who heads the NGO, told The Hindu that by burning crop residue from one acre of farming area, about 45,000 kg of carbon dioxide is released in one year.

“In this case we have managed to save the environment from 2,250,000 kg of the gas which would have been otherwise released into the atmosphere. “All one needs is a compost pit. After digging the pit the farmer fills it with cow dung, sugarcane leaves, paddy waste, green grass and field soil By spreading every content in 4 inch thick player one by one, repeating till the height is nearly one metre. Finally water is added to the contents,” Mr. Kant said.

This model of saving the environment from carbon dioxide is being followed by many farmers of Atrada, Khaspur, Putti, Khatki, Badam, Bhatipura, Nanglamal, Amarpur, Ataula, Narangpur, Karnawal, Puthkhas, Dhanpura, Bana, Nasarpur, Jaisinghpur and Ataura villages in Meerut.

“The ministries of agriculture and environment and also several other non-governmental institutions have encouraged farmers of this area to use our LR compost pit and save the environment,” Mr. Kant said.

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