Er. Malvinder Singh
Paddy straw is a big challenge for the agriculture scientists, engineers, Environmentalists of Punjab as such a huge quantity of straw as much as 23 MT/year is very difficult to handle. Moreso the burning of this straw in the open fields led to various medical and environmental problems. It may lead to skin irritation, asthma, bronchitis, eye ailments, respiratory troubles, etc. The smoke density in the open fields leads to visibility loss which further may cause accidents, traffic jams. Higher levels of suspended particulate matter, rrespirable particles and carbon monoxide lead to various health problems both for the humanity as well as for the biodiversity particularly plants. These fine particles block the stomata of the leaves hence hindering the respiration and photosynthesis of the plants. The straw burning further destroys the soil texture and lead to moisture loss. The inorganic and organic contents of the soil are oxidized and the farmer friendly biota present in and above the soil is killed brutally.
For 5 Tons of paddy appx we require 150 Kg N, 20 Kg P, 150Kg P, and 20 Kg S out of which 33% remain in the straw as a whole. which we burn in the open fields. If we reuse 90% of paddy straw and 30% of wheat straw we may be reusing about 5 Lac Tons of nutrients again for the crops which may be of worth Rs. 400 Crore. This factor also boosts the economy of the debt redden farmer of the state. This 40 MT paddy and wheat straw produced annually, if sponsored and regulated by the state, may act as a “Fuel ball” for the industry worth rupees 1600 Crore annually. The fuel ball can solve the energy needs of the industries in turn giving farmers their economic due. This paddy straw may also be used for electricity generation for which PEDA has already taken a lead by sanctioning 6 such projects each producing 66 Mega watt of electricity.
So with these agenda’s I am wishing the present audience particularly Farmers, Scientists, Agriculture Engineers, Environmentalists to discuss this problem in a way so that this paddy straw may become a goldmine for the Farmer in future.
Er. Malvinder Singh
Punjab Pollution Control Board