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Tackle crop residue in new ways, agriculture minister tells farmers

Press Trust of India/New Delhi 12 Sep 18 | 01:48 AM

Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Tuesday appealed to farmers not to burn crop residue and asked them to adopt new methods to manage the same, including using the waste for biogas production.

Highlighting the government's support to farmers for addressing the crop residue, he said a provision of Rs 11.52 billion for two years has been made under a scheme for states like Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCR.

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The Centre is providing 50-80 per cent subsidy for crop residue management machineries, which help farmers in mixing crop residue with soil to make it more productive, the release said, quoting the minister as saying at an event.

Farmers’ groups are being provided financial assistance at 80 per cent of the project cost for establishing Farm Machinery Banks for custom hiring of crop residue management machinery.

Under the sub-mission on agricultural mechanisation, 40 per cent subsidy is given on straw rake, straw baler, loader, etc.

That apart, the government’s agri-research body ICAR’s two centres —at Ludhiana (Punjab) and Anand (Gujarat) — have developed and installed a plant for biogas production using paddy straw, he said.

According to the minister, the management of crop residue in the field will help the soil become more fertile, thereby resulting in the savings of Rs 2,000 per hectare from the farmer’s manure cost.

By making palette from crop residue, the minister said it can be used for power generation.

Through this, crop residue is collected and bales are made out of it so that it becomes easy to carry the same to the crop residue palette and power generation plants, he said.

The minister also shared that the Central Electricity Authority, till August this year, had produced 114.08 Mw of electricity from waste.

From this year, NTPC has started producing electricity from waste in its Badarpur plant. Wind energy and solar power are also being promoted, he added.

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