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Clock is ticking! Why the Baler Price crisis needs an urgent relook?

    Clock is ticking! Why the Baler Price crisis needs an urgent relook?

The fact needs to be noticed!

As per the IARI study estimates that in 2008-09, crop residue burning has been a serious issue that releases approximately 149.24 million tonnes of CO2, over 9 million tonnes of carbon monoxide (CO), 0.25 million tonnes of Sulphur Oxides (SOX), 1.28 million tonnes of particulate matter, and 0.07 million tonnes of black carbon. It is directly responsible for pollution in the environment, as well as the yearly haze in Delhi during the October-November period. 

 

(Reference: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/new-delhi-burning-season-makes-air-even-more-dangerous-can-anything-be-done)

 

To our amusement, over the past four years, the substantial investment in agricultural residue management equipment and the farmer subsidies, under the tremendous supervision of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and the Supreme Court Of India has controlled the issue with persistence. Which is good to know!

 

Happy Seeders, Super Seeders, Mulchers, and Ploughs have grown quite popular in recent years for direct planting and integrating crop residue into the soil. However, the method of collecting agricultural stubble in the shape of rectangular or round bales using tractor-operated rakes and balers is the most frequent and prevalent due to numerous additional uses, just like a boiler fuel to create electricity.

 

Sadly, since the last couple of months, the bale owners have been requesting a gradual increase to the bale supply prices from biomass facilities, to settle the price rise in production cost and fuel prices. But, the grieve between the baler owner association and the biomass plant owners continues, in spite of several rounds of discussions. As a result of the prolonged deadlock, many farmers who wish to acquire these balers under the government's subsidy program will be left with no choice but to burn the crop residue owing to a lack of intercropping time. This affects the productivity and gross output in a large number. 

 

A solution is required, but not at the cost of harming the environment!

 

It is extremely encouraging that taking note of the matters on baling, the government and agricultural ministries of Haryana and Punjab intervened in the issue and rolled off a discussion to settle it out. But, the results are not as profound as we would have expected them to be. As a matter of fact, this state of affairs wouldn't impact the baling in a negative way, for this year or in the short run. But, will have a larger bearing on the government measures and investments that were taken up to safeguard the environment. The discussion was undertaken by the governments, of course, carry a lot of weight. Still, we would want to witness its impact in the same proportion.

 

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