Chandigarh, April 27 (IANS) Punjab Governor V.P. Singh Badnore on Friday said there is an urgent need to initiate more effective measures to tackle the issues of crop residue burning.
In his keynote address at a workshop here on stakeholder initiative to address crop residue burning in the state, the Governor said there was an urgent need to give options to the farmers to adopt alternative practices, thereby ensuring proper disposal of paddy residue instead of burning.
He expressed concern over the emerging serious environmental hazards caused by the stubble burning.
Badnore said it had not only affected the health of the people but also caused extensive losses to the organic component of soil.
The Governor also said that there was a need to promote horticulture, especially fruit cultivation, and cultivation of mushrooms in a big way in the state to break the usual paddy-wheat crop cycle.
He also laid emphasis on formulating a comprehensive strategy, including generating awareness among farmers and providing available technologies at affordable prices.
Badnore appreciated the Punjab farmers for having complete knowledge about the latest farming techniques.
He especially complimented the Punjab Agriculture University for maintaining a connect with the farmers and giving them the required suggestions every now and then.
He also laid emphasis on giving incentives to the farmers who have already adopted other alternatives and not burning the straw.
The Governor has offered to visit every district of Punjab, along with the entire team of officers concerned, to educate and motivate the farmers to stop burning the crop residue and go for sustainable solutions.
In his closing remarks, the Chief Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Suresh Kumar, said the state government would constitute a state-level advisory group to design immediate action plan to check stubble burning.
Legislator Kuljit Nagra felt there should be more soil testing labs in Punjab.