New Delhi : Steps taken towards reduction in paddy straw generation is yielding positive results. The total paddy area in the states of Haryana, Punjab and eight NCR Districts of Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) have come down by 7.72 per cent during the current year as compared to last year. Similarly, total paddy straw generation from the non-basmati variety is likely to be reduced by 12.42 per cent during the current year as compared to the previous year.
Both Central and State Governments of Haryana, Punjab and U.P. have been taking measures to diversify crops as well as to reduce the use of PUSA-44 variety of paddy. Burning of paddy straw from the non-basmati variety of crops is the prime concern. Crop diversification and moving away from PUSA-44 variety with short duration High Yielding Varieties are part of the framework and action plan for control of stubble burning.
As per data received from the State Governments of Haryana, Punjab and U.P., the total amount of paddy straw generated will come down this year. The total paddy straw generation is likely to come down by 1.31 million tonnes (from 20.05 million tonnes in 2020 to 18.74 million tonnes in 2021) in Punjab; by 0.8 million tonnes (from 7.6 million tonnes in 2020 to 6.8 million tonnes in 2021) in Haryana and; by 0.09 million tonnes (from 0.75 million tonnes in 2020 to 0.67 million tonnes in 2021) in the eight NCR districts of U.P. this year.
The total quantity of straw generated by the respective states was 28.4 million tonnes in 2020 which is now expected to come down to 26.21 million tonnes in 2021.
The decrease in non-basmati variety is expected to be even higher. Paddy straw generation specifically from the non-basmati variety of crops is expected to decrease from 17.82 million tonnes in 2020 to 16.07 million tonnes in 2021 in Punjab and from 3.5 million tonnes in 2020 to 2.9 million tonnes in 2021 in Haryana.
The Commission through a comprehensive framework had directed the respective State Governments to promote short duration and early maturing varieties of crops since they can be managed quite efficiently and provide a much wider window for paddy straw management. As per recommendations of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, CAQM had actively pursued with State Governments for promotion of the same.
Apart from this, the Crop Diversification Programs are also being implemented in the states of Punjab and Haryana along with the NCR Districts of U.P. to divert the area of water-guzzling paddy to alternate crops.