Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday announced that the Delhi government would start the process of preparing a fermented liquid solution to be sprayed on 800 hectares of land in the city where farmers practise stubble burning.
At a press briefing, Mr. Kejriwal said all arrangements for spraying the solution on farm fields will be made by the Delhi government and will be provided free of cost to farmers. The process will be executed under the guidance of the Pusa Research Institute and the cost of the implementation of the entire project is less than ₹20 lakh. A few days ago, he had also written to the Centre over the issue of stubble burning, which poses a health hazard for people in parts of North India, particularly Delhi.
“October is starting tomorrow. North India in its entirety is troubled by the smoke that covers the belt due to crop stubble burning every year. While Delhi and other cities have to suffer from the smoke, the farmers who are forced to burn the stubble and their villages have to suffer the most. Every responsible government must devise alternate systems for their farmers so that they are not forced to burn the stubble,” he said.
“This year, the Pusa Research Institute has presented a very cheap alternate solution to the problem of stubble burning. They have formulated capsules, four capsules can be mixed with a liquid solution prepared by jaggery and gram flour and can be sprayed to cover one hectare of land,” Mr. Kejriwal said. The mixture, he said, when sprayed, softens hard straw and turns it into manure.
This is a cheap alternative to stubble burning for farmers who usually start preparing for the next sowing season around October 15 every year. This schedule, he said, had also left no time for the Delhi government to have distributed capsules to farmers, training them and converting these capsules into a spray was a time-consuming process. So the Delhi government had decided to prepare the mixture itself under the guidance of the Pusa Research Institute starting October 5, he said.
“There are around 800 hectares of land in Delhi where non-basmati rice is grown following which stubble is collected and burned. The Delhi government will be starting the process of preparing this liquid solution by October 5 which will hopefully be completed by October 12-13 after which we will visit the farmers with the solution to be sprayed on their farmlands. The Delhi government will itself set up the entire spraying system through tractors on fields, free of cost for the farmers.After around 15-20 days, the stubble will soften and will convert into manure,” he also said.