Haryana Govt with support from Deloitte conducts pilot on addressing stubble burning

Haryana Govt with support from Deloitte, conducts pilot on addressing stubble burning

The Government of Haryana, with support from Deloitte, has completed its pilot climate leadership project on ‘Crop Residue Management’ (CRM) in Karnal, which helped reduce stubble burning incidents and manage the air pollution situation in the region. The pilot project began in Karnal district’s red zone villages and resulted in a 69 per cent reduction in stubble-burning incidents.

While this initiative included mobilising farmers, communities, and private sector partners, an important element of the outreach was a multilingual mobile application ‘Krishi Yantra Sathi’. It was designed to bring together all the relevant stakeholders, including local farmers, various custom hiring centres (CHC), and farmer producer organisations (FPOs). The key objective was to match the farmers’ demand for equipment to manage the crop residue with the right equipment owners, to efficiently and rapidly allocate the machinery. This application encourages the uptake of more economical and environmentally conscious use of stubble while generating employment opportunities for local communities.

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Moreover, an innovative communication and awareness programme was also designed and implemented to educate farmers across the Karnal district on the adverse effects of stubble burning and help them understand the government programmes and schemes available for stubble management. These included a series of awareness-building initiatives like radio jingles, videos, and door-to-door awareness campaigns, periodical WhatsApp messages, videos on the “Progressive Farmer Mascot- Parivartan Prakash”, and distributing calendars and tote bags with targeted messaging.

“With proof of concept and a working, replicable model, we are planning to scale the initiative in the state of Haryana to cover eight districts, namely, Fatehabad, Sirsa, Jind, Kaithal, Kurukshetra, Ambala, Yamuna Nagar and Karnal, which are responsible for approximately 90 per cent of fires in the state,” said, Narhari Bangar, Director, Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Haryana.

“With our department’s due diligence and proactiveness, 702 CHCs and 3860 individual farmers received approx. INR 90 crores CRM ex-situ and in-situ equipment subsidies since 2018, and an estimate of INR 18 crores worth of equipment subsidy will be given for the current year. Additionally, every farmer of Karnal district who adopted the ‘Parali Fasal Prabandhan’ will receive a subsidy of INR 1000 per acre,” said, Aditya Partap Dabas, Deputy Director, Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Karnal.

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“The burning of farmland between crop cycles is a pervasive problem across northern India, which has a significant environmental impact and a heavy human cost. One of the many causes of stubble burning is the lack of availability of stubble removal equipment like super-seeders and balers at the right time. Small and marginal farmers are the most impacted, and hence, Deloitte supported this initiative by facilitating a sustainable ecosystem that helps bridge the equipment availability gap,” said Viral Thakker, Partner and Sustainability Leader at Deloitte India.

To address the lack of equipment availability, Deloitte, through the Haryana State CSR Trust, is providing 15 sets of crop residue management (CRM) equipment that include tractors, slashers, hay rakes, balers, trolleys, and lucky seeders to the Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Karnal. The department through a transparent and competitive bidding process has selected a set of individual farmers, FPOs and entrepreneurs, who will be provided with the equipment at an event tomorrow, in Karnal.

Photo Credit: New Holland Agriculture/ Agriculture Post archive

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