PM Wants Better Equipment for Farmers to Counter Stubble Burning

In an effort to combat stubble burning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi instructed the Agricultural Ministry to hand out better equipment to farmers to prevent such practices. This comes in the wake of massive smog problem in Delhi and other parts of north India.

Crux of the Matter
  • This has been PM Modi’s first measure to contain the winter air pollution that plagues Delhi annually.
  • Stubble burning by farmers, especially in Punjab, has been identified as a major cause of air pollution in the Delhi NCR region.
  • Proper equipment will be provided to farmers in an effort to reduce stubble burning.

Stubble burning by farmers in these three states, especially Punjab, has been identified as a major cause of air pollution in the Delhi NCR region.Stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana in northwest India has been cited as a major cause of air pollution in Delhi. In late September and October each year, farmers mainly in those two states burn an estimated 35 million tons of crop waste from their paddy fields after harvesting, as a low-cost straw-disposal practice to reduce the turnaround time between harvesting and sowing for the second (winter) crop. Read More

50% Jump in India’s Organic Produce Exports for 2018-19

As per data published by Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority of India (APEDA), Indian exports of organic products shot up by 50% to cross Rs 5100 crores in 2018-19.

Crux of the Matter
  • Around 2.7 million tonnes of certified organic products were produced by India.
  • Major organic produce includes oilseeds, cotton, medicinal plants, tea, coffee, spices, vegetables, fruits and dry fruits.
  • In 2017-18 organic product exports had increased by 39%.
  • As of FY 2018-19 around 3.56 million hectares of land fell under organic farming certification.

Organic farming is an alternative agricultural system which originated early in the 20th century in reaction to rapidly changing farming practices. Certified organic agriculture accounts for 70 million hectares globally, with over half of that total in Australia. Organic farming continues to be developed by various organizations today. It is defined by the use of fertilizers of organic origin such as compost manure, green manure, and bone meal and places emphasis on techniques such as crop rotation and companion planting. Biological pest control, mixed cropping and the fostering of insect predators are encouraged. Organic standards are designed to allow the use of naturally occurring substances while prohibiting or strictly limiting synthetic substances. More Info