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Why In News:

  •  Only educating farmers about the monetary costs of burning stubble can address the environmental
    crisis triggered every year. Burning stubble, the rice chaff left over after harvesting, is linked to winter
    air-pollution in the State as well as down-wind Delhi
  •  According to the team, the government’s  efforts earmarking funds for specialised farming equipment (for straw management) or enforcing the
    state-led ban on the practice are unlikely to solve the problem.
  •  Farmer cooperative groups a key link between government and farmers ought to be playing a more active role in educating farmers, say key authors associated with the study.

In Brief:

What Is Stubble Burning?

  •  Stubble burning is, the act of removing paddy crop residue from the field to sow wheat.
  •  It’s usually required in areas that use the ‘combine harvesting’ method which leaves crop
    residue behind.
  •  It is mainly carried out in Haryana and Punjab.
  •  Open burning of husk produces harmful smoke that causes pollution. Open burning of husk is of incomplete combustion in nature. Hence large amount of toxic pollutants are emitted in the atmosphere. Pollutants contain harmful gases like Methane, Carbon Monoxide (CO), Volatile organic compound (VOC) and carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. What is combine harvesting?
  • Combines are machines that harvest, thresh i.e separate the grain, and also clean the separated grain, all at once.
  • The problem, however, is that the machine doesn’t cut close enough to the ground, leaving stubble behind that the farmer has no use for
  • There is pressure on the farmer to sow the next crop in time for it to achieve a full yield. The quickest and cheapest solution, therefore, is to clear the field by burning the stubble.

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