With the aim of addressing air pollution in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) due to stubble burning in the adjoining states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, the Centre has released Rs 496 crore to subsidize machinery required in-situ management of crop residue.
Addressing the media in New Delhi, Sanjay Agarwal, Secretary of Union Ministry of Agriculture informed that the Centre released Rs 496 crore for four states -- Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Punjab to subsidize machinery required for in-situ management of crop residue during 2021-22.
"For the year 2021-22, fund amounting Rs 235 crore has been released for Punjab, Rs 141 crore has been released for Haryana, Rs 115 crore for Uttar Pradesh and Rs 5 crore has been released for Delhi. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and other central agencies also received Rs 54.99 crore," informed Mr Agarwal.
The funds have been released under the scheme for the distribution of crop residue management machinery on subsidy to farmers.
The Secretary said that micro-level planning at the village and block levels is needed by way of identifying the problems, and accordingly, plan the strategies to reduce the crop residue burning.
During 2018-19 to 2020-21, the Centre has released total funds amounting Rs 1,749 crore to address the issue of air pollution in Delhi-NCR.
Mr Agarwal said that during the last three years, state governments have established more than 30,900 custom hiring centres of crop residue management machinery to provide equipment to small and marginal farmers.
"Total 1.58 lakh crop residue management machines have been supplied to these custom hiring centres. In 2020 season, through the concentrated efforts, a reduction in number of paddy burning events has been noted in comparison to 2016. The cases reduced by 64 per cent in Haryana, 52 per cent in Uttar Pradesh and 23 per cent in Punjab," he stated.
Further talking about the increase in minimum support price (MSP) given to farmers by the government during procurement of crops, the Secretary said that MSP approved for the designated Rabi crops for 2022-23 during Rabi Marketing season is higher or equal to 1.5 times the cost of production.
"The expected returns to farmers over their cost of production is estimated to be highest in case of wheat which is around 100 per cent, rapeseed/mustard 100 per cent, followed by lentil 79 per cent and gram 74 per cent and barley 60 per cent and safflower 50 per cent," he said adding that government procurement in recent years has also seen a manifold increase.
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