Written by Mantsha, a grade 9 student
Paddy Burning is a problem we are facing in our daily lives but is not discussed very often. It is one of the major causes of air pollution.
What is paddy burning?
Paddy Burning is a process that begins after fields of crops are harvested. This is done usually by farmers so as to burn the remaining stubble of the already cut crops (the short part of corn, wheat, etc…) that is left standing after the ready crop has been cut. This is done to prepare the soil or land for the next cropping season.
Paddy Burning is also called stubble burning.
Why does Stubble burning or Paddy burning happen?
The leftover crop residue needs to be removed quickly from the harvested field so that crops for the next crop cycle can be harvested. Not only is paddy burning a convenient solution for farmers but it is also one of the easiest and cheapest methods that are available to them. There are some more methods available but most of them are expensive or need hard work. Paddy burning is mostly done in the Northern states of India such as Haryana and Punjab.
What are the effects of stubble burning?
The following are the effects of stubble burning
- Production of excess smoke causing air pollution.
- Soil loses its nutrients.
- Risk of spreading of uncontrollable fire which can lead to widespread fire.
- Soil erosion.
- Emissions of harmful gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, and methane which are really harmful to us and as well as to our atmosphere.
But it doesn’t only have bad effects it also has some helpful effects like:
- Slugs get attracted to the soil improving the quality of the soil
- It might reduce the nitrogen tie up
But as we can see that there are more harmful effects as compared to the advantages or good effects.
What can you do to stop farmers from paddy burning/stubble burning?
- Farmers can convert stubble burning into animals food, cardboard or manure
- They can make biodegradable cutlery from it. (Cutlery – spoons, knives and forks).
- They can dispose off the waste.
- Alternatives to stubble burning are a few crop agricultural machines. A widely popular machine for replacing stubble burning in India is called the ‘Happy Seeder’. This machine allows the sowing of crops even when the standing stubble remains in the fields. But due to the ‘Happy Seeder’ being an expense, a large number of farmers do not use it.
(Interesting Fact -: Burning crop residue is a crime under Section 188 of the IPC and under the Air and Pollution Control Act of 1981)
We know that farming is one of the major activities in India because in India we have appropriate land for cultivation and because of that there are many farmers who produce grains and crops for us. But now stubble burning is becoming a major problem for us and even for the farmers.
In conclusion, I want to say that we now know the other alternatives to stubble burning. So now we can stop that method and use different alternatives such as composting waste and making biodegradable things among many other alternatives which we can use.
We are the ones who can change our lifestyle and that of others through awareness. We should understand the consequences of stubble burning. We know that stubble burning is the cheapest and easiest way to get rid of stubble but we should also be aware that the consequences of it are worse.
(Interesting Fact – if stubble burning continues in India in the last few months of the year 2020, the air pollution which will be caused may be very harmful to Covid19 patients as they will breathe in air pollutants such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide. Covid19 is respiratory (breathing) infection and air pollution due to stubble burning will cause breathing issues and only make the health of people worse.)
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