The incidence of farm fires in Rohtak district has gone down considerably, thanks to the good price being fetched by paddy husk and provision of equipment for its management within and outside the fields.
As per official sources, only seven cases of farm fires have been detected in the district during the current season so far. “It has become profitable to sell paddy husk as it sells at attractive rates and also fetches an incentive of Rs 1,000 per acre from the government,” says Bijender, a farmer of Bohar village in Rohtak district.
He reveals that the price of paddy husk has decreased as compared to last year.
“While paddy husk used to sell for up to Rs 7,000 per acre last year, the rate has come down to Rs 4,500-5,000 per acre this year,” he says.
Jagbir, another local farmer, says that they use the paddy straw as cattle fodder. “Businessmen also buy paddy straw and use it for making cardboards or packaging crockery and sanitary fittings,” he states.
The farmers point out that the availability of various equipment for the management of crop residue has also helped reduce the practice of burning it. “As many as 142 custom hiring centres (CHCs) have been set up in the district from where the farmers can get different equipment to manage paddy straw and other crop residue within as well as outside their fields,” says Dr Karam Chand, Deputy Director (Agriculture), Rohtak.
Three dedicated vans have also been provided to spread awareness regarding the beneficial utilisation of crop residue and hazards of burning it, he adds.
Rakesh Kumar, Quality Control Inspector, Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, points out that mainly basmati rice is produced in Rohtak, the husk of which is suitable for being used as cattle fodder.
“Due to its low silica content, the basmati husk is soft and sweet and hence makes good fooder for cattle. Many farmers also send it to cattle-sheds,” he states.
Source: Tribune India