Many of us have heard in news about stubble burning and its effect on environment. But do you know what is stubble burning?

What is stubble burning? It is an act of setting the straw stubble that remains after the harvesting of crops such as rice, wheat and other grains on fire. It is a common practice carried out by the farmers to prepare fields for sowing of wheat.

How does it affect the environment? Stubble burning releases harmful gases such as carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide along with particulate matter. The presence of these gases in the atmosphere causes air pollution which in turn causes health problems. The burning of straw is harmful to health but the farmers do not find better alternative.

The new technology that is used to handle waste material is expensive and many farmers could not afford to buy it. Lack of awareness, low income and due to crop damage are the reasons why they cannot spend on scientific ways of stubble management. Also, stubble burning is the easiest and effective way of getting rid of slugs, pests and weeds.This practice is common in states such as Punjab and Haryana.

How to stop this? In order to stop stubble burning, the government should draw up plan to provide economic incentives to farmers. Disincentives should be provided to those who continue the practice of burning. Also Minimum Support Price (MSP) should be wholly or partly denied for those who continue to burn crop residue.

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