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Making Paddy Straw Useful for Farmers

New Delhi: agriculture scientist and father of the green revolution, M S Swaminathan noted that with stubble-burning in farms of neighbouring states aggravating air pollution in the Capital and other cities in the NCR. He had suggested to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Ways to get rid of the straw in an eco-friendly manner are also suggested by M S Swaminathan to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and which could even be economically beneficial for farmers.

He would send a detailed note to the PM soon which explaining how technology could be used to dispose of stubble. On the sidelines of the first International Agro-biodiversity Congress (IAC), Swaminathan told, "I have told the Prime Minister how we can make use of paddy straw instead of burning it. You cannot ask farmers to stop burning paddy straw as he has to prepare his field for the next crop. You must find a mechanism to commercialise it."

"You add urea and molasses in paddy straw, you can use it as animal feed. There are different ways in which paddy straw can be utilised," said Swaminathan, while referring to a technology developed in Maharashtra and used in a couple of other states. Swaminathan also will soon send a note to PM Narendra Modi on this topic.

When we talk about agro-biodiversity, it is not about grains alone but about the whole plant. Paddy straw enriched with urea and molasses is a wonderful animal feed, India produced 140 million tonnes of paddy and 280 million tonnes of rice straw a year and its effective commercial use would benefit farmers, he said while addressing the IAC.

The Centre review meeting on air pollution, discussed the issue of stubble burning in detail, In the meeting of environment ministers of neighbouring states is expected to elaborate on the issue again.