EY Foundation India, the not-for-profit arm of Indian member firms of EY Global, today committed its support to the India ParyavaranSahayak (IPS) Foundation to implement a cost-efficient and scalable solution to address the air quality issue in northern India. The grants will be used to spread awareness and drive usage of in-field straw management practices among farmers to reduce air pollution caused due to crop residue burning. The first phase of the project will cover over 300 villages in five districts of Punjab, which have been observed to have high prevalence of crop burning.

Stubble burning is a common practice among farmers across north India, especially in the absence of economically viable and convenient solutions.

“Pollution caused due to crop residue burning across India has been a cause for concern for several years and needs immediate attention. Our support, extended to the India ParyavaranSahayak Foundation, is aimed at encouraging economically viable, easy to adopt and scalable solutions for the farmers. We hope this collaboration with the IPS Foundation will help us make a significant contribution towards addressing this challenge by increasing awareness among farmers and allaying their concerns," explained Sridhar Iyer, National Director, EY Foundation India.

In February 2018, the Punjab government made it mandatory to use the Straw Management System (SMS), while using the combine harvester machines. Using the grants, IPS Foundation will raise awareness among farmers about the benefits of using in-field SMS combined with Happy Seeders, which will enable farmers to sow the next crop without clearing the standing stubble. The awareness programme will include roadshows, community meetings, product demonstrations, farm visits and technical trainings for farmers.