The Punjab Government and the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) together on Saturday honoured 150 “progressive farmers” from across the state for not setting stubble on fire for the last five years. These farmers contributed to the fight against growing environmental pollution in the region by going against the tradition.
Addressing the farmers at a function organised at Kisan Vikas Chamber, SAS Nagar, Speaker, Punjab Assembly, Kultar Singh Sandhawan, said when people come forward to stop any bad practice, then the result comes out.
He said the farmer heroes who came to the event proved that farming can be done even by following the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev. He appealed to the farmers not to set the stubble on fire so that a clean and pollution free environment could be ensured for the state.
Sandhawan explained how burning of crop residue causes damage to other micro-organisms present in the upper layer of the soil as well as its organic quality. Due to the loss of ‘friendly’ pests, the wrath of ‘enemy’ pests has increased and as a result, crops are more prone to disease.
Speaking on the occasion, state Environment Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer said it is a matter of happiness that farmers are giving up stubble burning and accepting the message being given by the Punjab government. He said due to pollution, not only the lungs are damaged but many other types of health diseases also affect the human being.
He also expressed his happiness over the fact that the young generation is becoming aware of the environmental issues under the green campaign, they are now participating more in the tree plantation campaigns in a big way. Hayer said due to the campaign of the Punjab government, mini forests are being set up at various places in Punjab.
In the ceremony, the experts of the Agriculture Department sensitised the audience about ill effects of stubble burning, its alternative methods and about the efforts being made by the government to control the same.
During the function, the “progressive farmers” also shared their experiences with the audience regarding the benefits of not burning the residue to paddy like increased fertility of soil and minimal requirement of fertilizers, etc.
Gurpreet Singh Chandbaja Surjit Singh Sadhugarh, Ranjit Singh Basi Pathans Ghumandgarh, Kabal Singh Chugawan told the farmers how they did farming without burning the stubble residue and where the fertility of the land was maintained and their income has also increased significantly.