MANSA: As the cases of setting crop residue on fire continue to rise in Punjab, some youth clubs have started reaching out to farmers to motivate them against it. They are also discussing ways with farmers to manage crop residue in the fields in Mansa district.
Some of the youth have also faced the ire of a few farmer organisations that are collectively burning stubble. However, they are unperturbed and started a campaign ‘My Village My Pride’.
The Great Thinkers Club at Burj Dhilwan village has so far prevented paddy stubble from being burned in over 145 acres and saved 4,000 quintal of paddy straw, which the farmers are selling at Rs 130 per quintal to a biomass plant at nearby Khokhar village.
Club member Harpreet Singh said, “Our club president Parwinder Singh owns a baler machine, which he is providing to the paddy growers without any charge (normally machine owners charge up to Rs 500 per acre). Other club members are helping farmers in making the bundles and getting those loaded to sell the straw to a biomass plant. We have prevented at least a dozen farmers from setting fields to fire. Our members have also participated in an awareness rally with school students on October 18.”
Azad Soch Welfare Society at Burj Rathi village is also motivating farmers against burning stubble. Society member Bihara Singh said, “Till now we have saved 14 acres from burning. We are trying to obtain machines and motivating many other farmers too.”
Umeed Social and Welfare Society at Borawal village held a rally to create awareness on the issue and helped farmer Leela Singh in managing crop stubble in three acres by manually harvesting the crop and selling the straw.
Meanwhile, Mansa district administration has identified 12 villages, where balers will be provided for making paddy straw bundles to supplement the farmers’ income by selling it and ensuring zero burning in 10,530 acres of land. Mansa deputy commissioner Apneet Riyait said, “The youth clubs are doing a commendable work in conducting in situ management of paddy stubble and saving the environment.”
Ferozepur to honour farmers
Ferozepur: To prevent stubble burning in the district, Ferozepur deputy commissioner Chander Gaind has decided to honour farmers who shun practice with a ‘smart farmer’ certificate. On Wednesday, the DC will honour some progressive farmers who did not burn the paddy stubble. Gaind said the drive was aimed at acknowledging such farmers so that their valuable contribution in saving the environment could be presented before others as an example. He said ‘smart farmer’ certificate would be a recognition to such progressive and environment-friendly farmers and they would also be invited to the awareness seminars or Kisan Melas as speakers so that they can share their experiences about managing crop residue.