14th April, 2018, Sangrur
Wheat harvesting for this year has is on peak in the region which will be over within another two weeks. Combine harvested wheat followed by straw retrieval is a common practice, however, the left over stubbles of the wheat are being burnt by the farmers. KVKs under supervision of ICAR-ATARI, Ludhiana are organizing various programmes during second fortnight of April to sensitize the stakeholders on the issue of stubble burning of wheat for which special drive in the form of Awareness Pakhwara which was initiated on the festival of harvest i.e. Baisakhi.
On the occasion of Baisakhi, a Kisan Sammelan was organized in the premises of KVK, Sangrur in which farmers, farm women, children participated with full fervor. A farmer to farmer dialogue was arranged to share the experiences of farmers on happy seeder sown wheat. During the programme, local folk singers shared their giggles on use of happy seeder in vernacular languages. Different events on slogan and essay writing competition of school children were also organized. Farm women also came forward to display their talent in the form folk songs and dances to celebrate Baisakhi and convey the message of clean and green Punjab.
Dr. Rajbir Singh, Director, ICAR-ATARI, Ludhaina explained that residue burning is one of the major issues of concern across not only for agriculture but for the society as a whole. This cannot be dealt in isolation and technologies alone are not sufficient to address this challenge until there is awareness among the whole social system. In this campaign, all stakeholders have to come on same plaltform to address the problem of national interest. He informed that the Central Government has initiated a special scheme on ‘In-situ management of crop residue’ with an outlay of 1152 crores to make the region smoke free and farmers and rural youth should take benefit of this scheme and come forward for establishment of machinery banks for providing solution at farmers doorstep. He also mentioned that Gram Swarj Abhiyan is also celebrated during this fortnight and Kisan Kalyan Diwas will be organized on 2nd May at each block level involving all the stakeholders.
Dr. Mandeep Singh, PC, KVK, Sangrur while welcoming the farmers urged the farmers to come forward to make Punjab as zero burning state. He appreciated the farmers of Sangrur district for highest productivity of wheat and rice in the country. He assured that with new scheme in offing, Sangrur district will lead in the campaign on burning free Punjab.
The main highlight of the programme was that farmers were exposed to different sites in Kanoi and Longowal villages where demonstrations of happy seeder-sown wheat were laid out and Harvesting Field Day was organised where farmers who used the happy seeder technology interacted with other farmers and shared the benefits of technology.
Dr. Monika Chaudhary, SMS, KVK, Sangrur presented the formal vote of thanks and farmers and farm women took oath not to burn the residue.
(Source: ICAR-Agricultural Technology Application Research Institute, Ludhiana)