Following the success of a pilot project to address the issue of stubble burning in association with Deloitee, the Haryana government will now expand the project to eight more districts. 

The project will now be expanded to Fatehabad, Sirsa, Jind, Kaithal, Kurukshetra, Ambala, Yamuna Nagar, and Karnal, which account for nearly 90 per cent of fires in the State,” said Narhari Bangar, Director, Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Haryana.

A statement issued by Deloitte India said it had successfully completed its pilot climate leadership project on “Crop Residue Management” (CRM), which helped reduce stubble burning incidents and manage the air pollution in the region. 

Important outreach element

The pilot project began in Karnal district’s red zone villages and resulted in a 69 per cent reduction in stubble burning incidents. The initiative included mobilising farmers, communities, and private sector partners, it said. 

An important element of the outreach was a multilingual mobile application “Krishi Yantra Sathi”, designed to bring all the relevant stakeholders, including local farmers, various custom hiring centres (CHC), and farmer producer organisations (FPOs).

The key objective was to match the farmer’s demand for equipment to manage the crop residue with the right equipment owners, to efficiently and rapidly allocate the machinery.

This application encouraged the uptake of more economical and environmentally conscious use of stubble, while generating employment opportunities for local communities, the statement said.

Moreover, farmers across the Karnal district were made aware of the adverse effects of stubble burning to help them understand the government programmes and schemes available for stubble management. 

Subsidy element

Farmers have received subsidies to the tune of ₹90 crore under CRM since 2018. In addition, ₹18 crore equipment subsidy will be extended this year, Bangar said. 

“ Additionally, every farmer of Karnal district who adopted the ‘Parali Fasal Prabandhan’ will receive a subsidy of ₹1,000 per acre,” said Aditya Partap Dabas, Deputy Director, Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Karnal.

“One of the many causes of stubble burning is the lack of availability of stubble removal equipment like super-seeders and balers at the right time. Small and marginal farmers are the most impacted, and hence, Deloitte supported this initiative by facilitating a sustainable ecosystem that helps bridge the equipment availability gap,” said Viral Thakker, Partner and Sustainability Leader, Deloitte India.

To address the lack of equipment availability, Deloitte, through the Haryana State CSR Trust, is providing 15 sets of CRM equipment that include tractors, slashers, hay rakes, balers, trolleys, and lucky seeders to the Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Karnal. 

The department, through a transparent and competitive bidding process, has selected a set of individual farmers, FPOs,entrepreneurs, who will be provided with the equipment at an event on Friday, in Karnal.