The persistent issue of burning crop residue, particularly paddy stubble, has posed significant environmental challenges during North India's winters, notably in Haryana, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh. The lean timeframe between the Kharif crop (paddy) harvest and rabi crop (wheat) sowing, combined with limited cost-efficient alternatives for residue management, has led to substantial burning. In 2021 alone, these states witnessed 13 million tons of stubble burnt, resulting in approximately 80,000 fire incidents. This extensive burning contributed to severe environmental repercussions, including the emission of ~19 million tonnes of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, a 'Severe' Air Quality Index in the National Capital Region, leading to 2-3 times higher respiratory issues in winter, a 10-15oC rise in soil temperature, and a staggering ~312 million USD loss of revenue from burning.

Jind district in Haryana ranked third highest in fire incidents, accounting for 505 Active Fire Locations (AFLs), nearly 14% of the total AFLs in Haryana. These 505 AFLs in Jind caused an estimated 0.12 million tonnes of stubble burnt, emitted 0.17 million tonnes of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, and resulted in a substantial ~2.18 million USD loss of revenue from burning.

The initiative “Harit Dhara, Saaf Vayu” focuses on Crop Residue Management and Direct Seeding of Rice in Jind District, Haryana, with a strategic objective to combat the enduring challenge of stubble burning in North India, particularly within Haryana’s Jind district. The project is designed to address the complex issue of stubble burning through a multi-pronged approach, promoting sustainable agricultural practices and contributing to environmental conservation and community well-being in 96 villages of 7 blocks in Jind, 18,708 acres of farmland, and will benefit 5,492 farmers.

Foundation for Development Initiative (FDI) has partnered with NatWest India Group, the Department of Agriculture, Haryana, District Administration, Jind, Haryana State CSR Trust, Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs), and Farmers.

The project’s primary objectives include reducing Active Fire Locations (AFLs) in the Jind district, raising awareness about the harmful effects of stubble burning, promoting alternative methods like Crop Residue Management (CRM), and sensitizing farmers to Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR), a climate-smart agriculture practice. Various activities such as stakeholder engagement, focus group discussions, one-to-one interactions, awareness programs, and the use of the Krishi Yantra Saathi mobile application for CRM services will be pillars of the project.

POSTED BY admin | Feb, 08, 2024 |