With the aim of addressing air pollution in Delhi and National Capital Region due to stubble burning in the adjoining States of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and to subsidize machinery required for in-situ management of crop residue, the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare has implemented a Central Sector Scheme on ‘Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for In-Situ Management of Crop Residue in the States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi’ w. e. f. 2018-19. During the period from 2018-19 to 2022-23, the funds amounting to Rs. 3138 Crores have been released under this scheme. During this period, the States have established more than 38000 Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs) of Crop Residue Management machines and more than 2.42 lakh machines have been supplied to these established CHCs and individual farmers of these 4 States.
In order to assess the impact of various initiatives undertaken by the States under this scheme during these 5 years, the Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare has engaged Indian Institute of Management, Rohtak to carry out assessment of the magnitude of the problem of paddy residue burning in the States, District-wise mapping of available machinery separately for in-situ and ex-situ management including assessment of average use of each machine available with different entities such as individual farmers, Societies and Custom Hiring Centres for paddy straw management and the analysis of usage based on optimum field capacities of these machines, assessment of the quality and cost of in-situ and ex-situ machines supplied under the scheme vis-a –vis quality and cost of machines in the open market, assessment of the available infrastructure and their potential for ex-situ utilization of the straw State-wise and district-wise, assessment of impact of machine use on reduction in paddy residue burning, assessment of existing gaps for in-situ and ex-situ straw management infrastructure and suggesting the strategic initiatives to be taken by the Government including the synergies that may be required at the Central and State level in implementing various initiatives/schemes of different Ministries/Departments and assessment of the farmer’s perception/requirements through exhaustive consultation with farmers and various other stakeholders of this sector. It is envisaged that the findings that would come out through this exhaustive consultation and analysis would be helpful to further expand and strengthen the infrastructure and activities for crop residue management by way of putting in place the support infrastructure for implementing the scheme with greater knowledge, better access and expanded opportunities for small and marginal farmers.
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