Burning of Rice Straw and Atmospheric Pollution: Prof M S Swaminathan

There is considerable debate going on at present among states, political parties and professionals about the methods of avoiding the burning of rice straw. It is also attracting attention at the legal level. In this statement here, Prof Swaminathan provides suggestions about alternatives to burning rice straw:

In order to help farmers move away from this practice which is caused by the need to prepare the rice field for sowing wheat on time, it is necessary to create an economic state in not burning the straw. Market driven alternatives should be demonstrated. There is no policy so far for bio-mass utilization. The Rice Bio-park established by MSSRF on behalf of the Government of India in Myanmar is a good example of how farmers can have options in our ecologically safe use of the straw, the bran, husk and other parts of the plant. Money spent to prevent farmers from burning straw can be utilized better to demonstrate the value of community owned and managed bio-parks. This will also help to achieve a doubling of farmers’ income during the next five years. Here is what Prof Swaminathan had to say about managing smog

( Pic credit: IRRI)