Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, organised an event in collaboration with Punjab Vatavaran Chetna Lehar and Gadri Baba Dulla Singh Giani Nihal Singh Foundation, Jalaldiwal, Friday, to honour farmers who did not burn paddy stubble. Punjab Assembly Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan felicitated over 500 farmers along with 300 PAU students who had campaigned against stubble burning in different villages.
Stating that everyone must shoulder the responsibility of preventing environmental contamination and sustaining clean air, Sandhwan said that stubble burning emits toxic pollutants which disperse in the surroundings and, eventually, affect the air quality and people’s health by forming a thick blanket of smog. The heat generated due to farm fires penetrates into the soil, causing nutrient deficiency as well as loss of useful microbes and moisture making the soil less fertile, he explained, adding, “We all need to do our part to ensure that we leave behind a planet that is liveable for the future generations rather than engaging in blame games.”
He said that farmers can be instrumental in rectifying this folly by refraining from burning crop residue. He urged the farming community to emulate the award recipients and view them as icons of positive change. He took note of Ludhiana district having 55% fewer farm fires this year.
Vice-chancellor Dr Gosal said that in addition to environmental and health risks, burning paddy stubble damages micro-organisms that are invisible to the naked eye but present in the upper layer of the soil. Owing to the loss of “friendly “organisms, crops become more prone to disease.
Sandhwan added that the AAP government was in the process of formulating new policies to make agriculture a profitable profession.