Social Awareness Campaign against Residue Burning Concludes

1st May, 2015, Karnal

Residue burning is one of the major issues of concern across not only for agriculture but for the society as a whole. Punjab and Haryana are burning almost 30 million tons of crop residues annually. This cannot be dealt and address in isolation and technologies alone are not sufficient to address this challenge until there is awareness among the whole social system. The ICAR-Zonal Project Directorate (Zone-1) through KVKs of Haryana and Punjab, ICAR institutes, State Department of Agriculture, CIMMYT, BISA, CCAFS,  farmers’ organizations and other sections of society organized Pakhwara on Mass Awareness on Residue Burning  (16 April to 1 May 2015).

Social Awareness Campaign against Residue BurningSocial Awareness Campaign against Residue BurningSocial Awareness Campaign against Residue Burning

This awareness campaign was culminated into an event on “Mass Social Learning on Elimination Residue Burning and Promoting Direct Seeded Rice” organized Jointly by ICAR, CIMMYT and Department of Agriculture, Haryana and supported by CCAFS, NICRA and KVKs at a Climate Smart Village (CSV) Beer Narayana in Karnal district on 1st May 2015.

Dr. Alok K Sikka, DDG (NRM) and Chief Guest, informed the farmers that burning of crop residue leads to release of smoke, green house gases in addition to the loss of plant nutrients. The crop residue can be used for soil health improvement, increasing productivity and increasing sustainability and resilience of agriculture. He urged the farmers to adopt resource conservation technologies and steps to be taken for making their village as climate smart village under the changing scenario of climate change. He further emphasized that ICAR and CIMMYT together with other agencies are actively engaged in promoting climate smart practices under CCAFS and NICRA together.

Dr. A. K. Singh, DDG (Agri Extension) presided over the function and gave an overview of the activities and initiatives taken during the Pakhwara and urged the farmers to keep themselves away from residue burning as this is against law and contribute to environmental pollution and global warming. He also elaborated the need of such programme and the learning of this programme will be taken care during main rice straw burning season as well.
Dr. Rameshwar Singh, PD, DKMA informed the gathering about the ill effects of residue burning and elaborated the communication strategies and plans for scaling out climate smart villages.  

Dr. S. K.  Chaudhari, ADG (S&WM) also appreciated the activities done during Pakwara and suggested that such programme should also be organized during rice burning season involving all the stakeholders.

Dr. Indu Sharma, Director, IIWBR; Dr. P. C. Sharma, Acting Director, CSSRI and Dr. R.S. Antil, Director (Agri. Ext.), CCSHAU also addressed the gathering.

Dr. Rajbir Singh, Zonal Project Director, Zone-1 while welcoming all the dignitaries, informed that more than 15,000 farmers were contacted through Kisan Gosthis, Sandhya Pheris, group meetings with village Panchayats; more than 15 contests were organized for essay and slogan of the theme; more than one lakh advisories and literature were released/distributed to farmers, besides delivering more than 15 radio and TV talks to make mass awareness against residue burning.

While introducing the objectives of the programme, Dr. M. L. Jat, CIMMYT-CCAFS South Asia Coordinator informed the gathering about the joint efforts for scaling climate smart agricultural practices through climate smart villages under CCAFS and NICRA.

Sh. S. K. Ghalawat, Addl. Director (Agri), Haryana elaborated Governmental plans and strategies to manage crop residue.

The Panchayat of Beer Narayana village took oath not to burn residue in the village.

Dr. D. K. Gosain, Programme Coordinator, KVK, Karnal coordinated the concluding event and Sh. Harpreet Singh, an innovative farmer of the village, presented the formal vote of thanks.

More than 600 farmers and farm-women participated in the programme.

(Source: ZPD, Zone-1, Ludhiana)