Despite ban, stubble burning goes in Punjab
HARISH DIDO | 24 Apr 2013

Stubble burning reduces the fertility of land ? Need research on utilizing crop residues for industrial purposes: Agri Expert

Despite issuing of ban orders every year for stubble burning, before the harvesting of wheat and paddy crops, the process continues and hardly any action is taken by the administration with one or the other reasons.  The main reason for not taking any action is the local political pressure which results in pollution in the environment and incidents of damage of standing crops.


It is the practice of burning the residue of a crop rather than bailing it for livestock use or working it back into the soil. It has been a part of agricultural practice for many years. Crop residue refers to the straw, stubble and chaff from any agricultural crop following harvest. The remains of un-harvested crop can be included.


Although it has been part of agriculture for many years, it is a practice used only by a small percentage of farmers. According to Agriculture Canada crop residue burning is not good farming practice. In spite of its effect on agricultural land this practice has continued as a matter of convenience. Some products, notably flax and canary straw are slow to break down and thus difficult to incorporate back into the soil. The issue is not just soil management. It impacts on greenhouse gas emissions, safety risks, fire management, reduced visibility on roads, respiratory health, and waste management. The crop residue smoke, that is produced, is a health issue for all persons downwind of this activity. We must be aware of both the environmental and the human health effects when crop residues are  burned. All burning creates harmful by-products, resulting in air pollution. It matters not whether oil, gas,  wood or stubble is burned, there will be combustion products formed. The difference will be the amount of particles and gases formed.

Oil and gas, for example burn much more cleanly and more closely achieve complete combustion.  Stubble burning is a dirty procedure that produces large amounts of fine particles that can be carried  for long distances suspended in the wind.




An incident of stubble burning was recently seen on the Ferozepur-Fazilka road. While asking from the retired Agriculture Expert D.K.Sahi, about the stubble burning, over the phone, he said, the stubble is not less than the “Sanjivini” if it is mixed with the earth after harvesting but at the same time, after burning it in the field, it reduces the fertility of the land besides killing of insects, the friends of the farmers. 


While talking to another medical expert, Dr.Ashwani Midha, he said, stubble burning is not good from health point of view.  The smoke comes out of its burning produces number of chronic diseases which affects on the human body especially on eyes.


Paramjit Singh, SDM however claimed that there is strict ban on stubble burning but in case any such complaint is received, strict action will be against the violators.


While talking to the farmers of the area, Bishan Singh Lal Chand, Fouja Singh, Nahar Chand and others said, “Every year the orders to ban the stubble burning are issued but for dumping the stubble deep in the earth is a costly proposition and  is beyond their budget.  In such circumstances, they have no alternative other than burning the same.  They however, said, the government should give extra incentive while fixing the price of the produce to ensure its dumping.