Groups such as the Association of Active NGOs (AAN) in Bathinda district have domain experience as they played a proactive role in managing stubble without burning it last year, too.

The momentum is building up in Punjab’s paddy fields with stakeholders, including the central and state governments, agricultural universities, machine manufacturers and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), gearing up to educate and equip farmers against stubble burning after the harvest in October and November.

Groups such as the Association of Active NGOs (AAN) in Bathinda district have domain experience as they played a proactive role in managing stubble without burning it last year, too.

AAN coordinator Sandeep Aggarwal says that for more than 20 days in October and November last year, activists worked in villages collecting the stubble that was transported in tractor-trailers to be kept at a common place from where it was taken to biomass power plants and cow sheds.

“NGO workers in teams of 20-25 managed the stubble from more than 4,000 acres of paddy fields in the villages of Behman Dewana, Gobindpura, Balluana, Behman Dewana, Bir Talab, Bir Behman and Har Rangpura,” he says. They found that farmers want to get rid of the paddy stubble in an environment-friendly way too but are not in a position to spend on the machines. “When we deployed our volunteers, they readily joined us. They provided their tractors and equipment,” he says.

Bathinda tehsildar Sukhbir Singh Brar says the administration played the role of a coordinator in this campaign.


Source: September 14, 2018, Hindustan Times