Convert stubble to income, stop blaming farmers: Prof M S Swaminathan
November 04, 2019: The air pollution in Delhi has become a matter of public health concern nationally and internationally. Farmers are being blamed by many including the Chief Minister of Delhi for burning stubble and thereby causing atmospheric pollution. 1/4
In South India, the stubble is not burnt because there is economic value as straw for animal feed. For many years, I pointed out that, there are many economic uses of rice straw including animal feed and we should adopt a ‘do-ecology’ approach to farmers on how to convert rice stubble into income rather than making them agents of eco-disaster.
Recently @MSSRF established a Rice BioPark at Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, funded by the Ministry of External Affairs & inaugurated by our Hon President of India. The rice biopark shows how stubble can be utilized to make products including paper, cardboard and animal feed.
I suggest that the governments of Delhi, Haryana and UP should put up Rice BioParks where farmers can convert the stubble into a source of income and employment. We should stop blaming the farmers since it will take us nowhere. Instead we should propose methods which are economically and ecologically desirable.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.