You are here: Home » Opinion » Editorial » Editorials
Business Standard

Reducing air pollution: Stubble burning needs economic solutions

Fortunately, there is no dearth of potential gainful uses of crop residues

Stubble burning | stubble burning air pollution | Business Standard Editorial Comment

Business Standard Editorial Comment  |  Mumbai 

With the paddy-harvesting season almost at hand, none of the northern rice-growing states seems to have a workable strategy in place to prevent farmers from burning crop residues, which aggravates air pollution in the National Capital Region in October-November every year. The massive amount of smoke and toxic gases that the crop fires exude causes health problems, ranging from eye and breathing troubles to more serious illnesses. The offer of the Delhi and Punjab governments to spray the microbial stubble decomposer, developed by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, on the harvested paddy fields has been rejected by the farmers as an impractical proposition. It takes 20-25 days to decompose the leftover biomass, which is too long for them to wait for sowing the next crop. The use of crop residue management machinery, which seems a feasible solution, involves additional expenses, which the farmers find unaffordable without financial assistance. Such assistance does not seem to be forthcoming in most states.



What you get on Business Standard Premium?

  • icon Unlock 30+ premium stories daily hand-picked by our editors, across devices on browser and app.
  • icon Full access to our intuitive epaper - clip, save, share articles from any device; newspaper archives from 2006.
  • icon Curated newsletters on markets, personal finance, policy & politics, start-ups, technology, and more.
  • icon Pick your 5 favourite companies, get a daily email with all news updates on them.
  • icon 26 years of website archives.
  • icon Preferential invites to Business Standard events.


Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Tue, September 20 2022. 22:20 IST