Happy Seeder Current Affairs - 2020

ICAR report on Stubble Burning

On 4th November, 2019, the ICAR’s Creams Laboratory bulletin stated that there has been reduction of 12% in incidents of Stubble Burning as compared to the same period in 2018.

Highlights of the report

  • There were 31,402 burning events in the three states Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana as on October 1, 2019
  • The state wise reduction in stubble burning as compared to 2018 is as follows
    • Uttar Pradesh-48.2%
    • Haryana-11.7%
    • Punjab-8.7%
  • The report says that the reduction is mainly due to the launch of Central Scheme “Promotional of Agricultural Mechanization of In-Situ Management of Crop Residue in Punjab, UP and Haryana and NCT of Delhi”. The main purpose of the scheme is to subsidize machinery required.

Delhi

New Delhi is worst affected due to stubble burning in the three states. This year (2019) the Air quality Index of Delhi reached 999. This is the highest recorded AQI of Delhi in its history. According to WHO norms the AQI should be under 100.

Also, the PM 2.5 (Particulate Matter) concentration was more than 80% as against 50% of the normal course.

Western Disturbances

The Stubble burning smoke reaching Delhi is greatly influenced by the Western Disturbances. When these Cyclonic circulation are strong and persistent the smoke deposited in the city decreases.

The disturbances are capable of carrying the smoke far and spread them wide when they are strong. The weakening of these disturbances lately due to global warming is also one of the reasons for the increased stubble smoke in Delhi.

Stubble Burning Incidents declines 41% in UP, Punjab, Haryana: Govt

According to Union Government there has been a 41% reduction in stubble burning incidents in 2018 as compared to 2016. Recently, Secretary of Department of Agricultural Research and Education and Director General, ICAR Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra highlighted considerable reduction in crop residue burning incidents in 2018 through various government efforts under Central Sector Scheme (CSS) on ‘Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for In-Situ Management of Crop Residue in the State of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh & NCT of Delhi.

Key Features of Scheme

Area Coverage: This Central Sector Scheme was launched by Union Government for period from 2018-19 to 2019-20 to tackle air pollution and to subsidize machinery required for in-situ management of crop residue in States of Punjab, Haryana, UP and NCT of Delhi.

Fund Utilization: The scheme had a total of Rs.1151.80 Crores. Within 1 year of its implementation and utilizing an amount of Rs.500 crore, Happy Seeder (which is a tractor-mounted device has the capability to cut and lift the previous crop (ex- rice straw) and sow a new (wheat) crop in its place) or Zero Tillage Technology was adopted in 8 lakh hectares of land in North- Western States of India. Under the scheme, financial assistance @50% of cost is provided to farmers for purchase of in-situ crop residue management machines on individual ownership basis and financial assistance @ 80% of project cost is provided for establishment of Custom Hiring Centres of in-situ crop residue management machinery.

Data Gathered: Under the scheme paddy residue burning events have reduced by 15% and 41% in 2018 as compared to that in 2017 and 2016, respectively in state of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh (UP) & NCT of Delhi as per satellite data.

Achievement: More than 4500 villages of Punjab and Haryana were declared as Zero Stubble Burning Villages during 2018 as not a single crop burning incident was reported from these villages.

During 2018-19, funds were released to state governments of Punjab, Haryana and UP, for distribution of in-situ crop residue management machinery to farmers on subsidy, establishing Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs) of in-situ crop residue management machinery as well as for creating awareness among farmers by undertaking Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities.

Implementing Agency: Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is implementing scheme by 60 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) of Punjab (22), Haryana (14), NCT of Delhi (1) and UP (23).

Awareness campaigns and Kisan Mela: Awareness campaigns were conducted all across States by organizing 1000s of demonstrations, putting up hoardings, banners and wall paintings. Neary 700 awareness programs at village levels, 200 Kisan Ghostis and Field days, 86 Kisan Melas and 250 schools and colleges were sensitized in collaboration with State departments and agricultural universities.

During 1 year period over 2 lakh stakeholders were sensitized, more than 400 hands-on training were organized and 18,000 farmers, tractor owner and machine operators were trained.

Other Government Initiatives:

In addition to above Scheme, separate funds are being allocated to States for crop residue management under Sub-Mission on Agriculture Mechanization by Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers Welfare under Ministry of Agriculture and farmers Welfare.

State Governments have also been directed that for demonstration of straw management machinery at farmers’ fields an amount of Rs.4000/ Hectare shall be used from funds available for demonstration of machines under Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanization.