The ICAR-Agricultural Technology Application Research Institute (ATARI), Punjab Agricultural University, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and Borlaug Institute of South Asia (BISA) organised a “Stakeholder Dialogue for Sharing key Learnings on Sustainable and Scalable Solutions for Rice Residue Management” at ICAR-ATARI Ludhiana. Padma Bhushan awardee, Dr R.S. Baroda was the Chief Guest while Dr B.S. Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, presided over the function. Delegates from NABARD, Krishi Vigyan Kendras and ICAR institutes participated in this function.
Dr Paroda said the residue burning started with machine harvesting of paddy and shortage of labour in farm sector. Now policy makers have realized that the problem is really grave and needs a sustainable solution, he added. Although government is supporting farmers through various subsidies and incentives, even then it is a problem. Farmers needs to solve it, he stressed. Dr Paroda further emphasized on importance of conservation agriculture in Punjab.
Dr Dhillon said there are early maturing paddy varieties with good yield; these should be adopted by farmers for addressing the issue of residue burning. Dr Dhillon also stressed on capacity building of industry in addition to the farmers for bringing desirable results in this direction. Happy Seeder machines should further be improved to better cover seed with soil in the process of seeding, he observed.
Dr Rajbir Singh, Director of ATARI, shed light on in-situ (within the field) residue management solutions; indentifying bottlenecks in in-situ management of residue; identification of most viable and scalable business models of residue management technologies; strategy for capacity building and identification of knowledge gap in desirable and actual practices.
Dr B.S. Sidhu, Commissioner Agriculture, Punjab, said data on conservation agriculture needs to be strengthened and analysed. Farmer to farmer leaning is the best and most effective strategy for conservation agriculture, he added. Dr Sidhu also emphasized on celebration of Field Harvest Day of conservation agriculture fields for better results.
Dr Ramesh Yadava, Chainman, Haryana Farmers’ Commission, stressed on using services of ex-army persons in custom hiring services for residue management.
Dr M.L. Jat of CIMMYT proposed the vote of thanks