Environment Ministry launches Regional Project to Tackle Stubble Burning

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on Thursday approved a regional project on ‘climate resilience building among farmers through crop residue management,’ to effectively combat the climate change.

The project, under the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC), aims to mitigate climate change impacts, enhance adaptive capacity and counter the adverse environmental impacts caused from burning, an official statement said here.

The project was approved at the meeting of the National Steering Committee on Climate Change here, under the chairmanship of CK Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forest.

The first phase of the project has been approved at a cost of Rs 100 crore for the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

The meeting pointed out that the problem of crop residue burning has been intensifying over the years, with Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh being the major burning hot spots.

Increased mechanisation, declining number of livestock, long period required for composting and no economically viable alternate use of residues were some of the reasons for residues being burnt in field, the meeting observed.

These issues not only impact global warming, but also has an adverse impact on air quality, soil health and human health, the statement said.

The project will be implemented in a phased manner, such as awareness generation and capacity building activities among farmers in the initial stage.

This will be followed by steps to encourage farmers to adopt alternate practices, which would help diversify livelihood options and enhance their income.

A slew of technological interventions will be undertaken for timely management of crop residue, in addition to the effective utilisation of existing machineries, it added.

‘Based upon the performance in the first phase, the scope could be enhanced and more activities could be supported subsequently,’ said Mr Mishra.

The NAFCC has approved 27 innovative projects, covering vulnerable sectors like agriculture, animal husbandry, water and forestry among others, since its launch in 2015, the statement added.

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