Stubble burns our eyes, but Virender Yadav makes money out of it through proper use
At a time when North India in general and the National Capital region of Delhi in particular is struggling to cope with the hazards of air – pollution due to stubble-burring by the farmers in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, Virender Yadav, a 32-year-year-old small-time farmer of Farash Majra village in Kaithal district has proved that scientific stubble administration is not only environment-friendly but also profitable.
In the last two months, he has earned Rs 95 lakh, of which Rs. 50 lakh are profits, from stubble administration in his village and nearby locations.
Yadav has a one-acre farm. He was dwelling in Australia where he had a wholesale vegetable enterprise. However, he returned to India in 2018 to care for his ailing mother.
“I had an ailing mom and two little daughters, Nishika and Tanisha. In 2018, when there was smoke and fireplace in fields, we didn’t know who to save lots of. My daughters and my mom couldn’t breathe correctly. My daughters additionally developed an allergy. It was a turning level for me,’’ mentioned Virender.
He raised the problem with agriculture division officers. “My father was within the animal husbandry division and he guided me. We solely had an acre of land and this was not sufficient for survival. Appearing on their recommendation, I made a decision to acquire 4 balers and acquired two extra later with the subsidy offered by the agriculture division,” he mentioned.
The returns had been greater than he may have made working overseas. “I used to earn round Rs 35 lakh in Australia. Now, in two months, I’ve performed a enterprise of Rs 95 lakh, of which I’ll save Rs 50 lakh after paying the farmers and the 150-strong work pressure I’ve,’’ he mentioned.
In the last two months, Virender has procured orders of 70,000 quintals of stubble bales from agro industries in addition to paper manufacturing items. Karam Chand, deputy director, agriculture division, Kaithal is impressed with Yadav and his crew. “Our division allotted him a cluster of villages for assortment of straw or stubble. All of the 150 to 200 momentary or everlasting staff employed with him are from his village and close by villages. Simply see the AQI of Kaithal as in comparison with neighbouring districts of Jind, Hisar and different districts. This boy has set an instance for others,’’ mentioned Karam Chand.
For removal and collection of straw after combine harvesting and using the residues for off farm works; straw baler machine (Virender has four of them), is a very promising technology and commercially available. Baler makes rectangular or round bales by collecting the loose straw from the ground. Machine can recover about 200–250 bales weighing between 15 and 30 kg (depending upon moisture and field condition) with a size of 460×360 mm bale from combine harvested field. The speed of operation can be varied between 2–3 km h−1 in combine harvested fields depending upon the field conditions. The fuel consumption is also optimal. The energy requirements vary widely from 0.6 to 1 kW h ton−1.
It may be noted that disposal of paddy residue has turned out to be a huge problem in north-west Indian states, resulting farmers prefer to burn the residues in-situ. Paddy residue management is of utmost important as farmers do not realise how useful the residue could be for them and the community and how harmful it is to burn them in the fields.
Consequences of crop residue or straw burning
- Depletion of air quality owing to aerosols and trace gas emission
- Liberation of soot particles and causing smog in the environment
- Health hazards to human, animal and birds
- Deterioration in soil health and fertility (Repetitive burning in the field permanently diminishes the microbial population that provides nutrient value of the soil)
- Loss of plant nutrients/ vegetation
- Loss of biodiversity as micro flora and fauna present in the soil are also destroyed
How and why straw can make money
- Paddy residues consists of straw and husk, which have numerous supreme uses and have great economic values such as animal feed, fodder, roof thatching, packaging, composting, fuel for household industries (combustion with coal, wood, etc).
- Paddy residue plays an imperative role in moderation of soil temperature, moisture and controls the Phalaris minor (a problematic weed) while its retention on soil surface.
- It can be used as domestic/industrial fuel. The rural population of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir depends primarily on fuel-wood for fulfilling domestic needs/ industrial fuel for cooking (combustion with dung cake/ wood/ coal).
- It is the cattle feed.
- It is used for thatching for houses in rural areas.
- The paddy wastes are used as bed material for cattle during winters. The bed material of paddy helps improving milking capacity in terms of quality and quantity contributing to comfortable sleep of cattle warmth, udder health and leg health.
- The paddy straw used for bedding could be subsequently converted for composting. Each kg of straw absorbs about 2–3 kg of urine from the animal shed. Moreover, it can be composted by alternative methods on the farm itself. The residues of rice from one hectare give nearly 3.2 t of manure as it possess plentiful of nutrients as farmyard manure.
- The biomass of paddy residues are efficient source of energy generated through anaerobic digestion, gasification and pyrolysis technologies which offers an instant result for the decline of CO2 concentration in the environment. Using anaerobic digestion of one tonne of paddy residue, 300 m3 of biogas can be obtained.
- Paddy straw as a key ingredient could be utilised as a raw matter for mushroom culture in Punjab.
- Paddy straw can also be used in the fabrication of paper, pulp board, cushioning material in the packaging of manufactured goods and floor tiles.
It may be noted as per the available research data, India is an annual gross crop residue producer of 371 million tons (mt), of which wheat and paddy residues constitutes 27–36% and 51– 57% respectively. The bio-energy potential annually generated from various residual agricultural mass is estimated to be 4.15 EJ, equivalent to 17% of India’s aggregated consumption of principal energy. Uttar Pradesh (53–60 mt) is a leading state of India for residue generation followed by Punjab (44–51 mt), Maharashtra (46–56 mt) and West Bengal. Cereal crops (paddy, wheat, maize, millets) contribute 70% residue of which paddy crop is the contributor of 34%.
However, results from the characterization analysis has revealed 84% of crop residues burning are from paddy-wheat system (RWS) while remaining 16% is from other types of crop rotations. But as we have seen, since these residues are of great economic value as livestock feed, fuel and industrial raw material, with proper education and governmental help and incentives, these could be turned into assets from being liabilities.
Virender Yadav has shown the way.