Chandigarh, Dec 1 : Taking cognizance of rising air pollution, President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday appealed to the government of Haryana and Punjab to come up with a solution to curb stubble burning.
"Today we are facing a problem related to disposal of crop residue and of safe and clean removal of husk or stubble. In an extreme form, the burning of such items is leading to pollution that affects even little children. It is for all of us, including the state governments, the skilled and large-hearted farmers, and other stakeholders, to come up with a solution. And no doubt technology will help us find a solution,' the President asserted while inaugurating 13th edition of CII Agro Tech India fair at the Parade Ground here.
Stubble burning, is one of the major cause of air pollution in northern India during winters. National Green Trinunal (NGT) had asked government of Delhi, Haryana, Ounjab and Uttar Pradesh to chalk out a plan to curb this menance. Providing economic incentives to farmers who are not burning the stubble, could be a solution, according to experts.
Sachin Jain, CII chairman, who was present at the event, said his organisation is working on a pilot project to tackle stubble burning in Punjab.
Speaking on the agriculture, the President said that Indian agriculture needs a renewal of its marriage with contemporary technology; protection against climate change, price fluctuations and demand shocks; and sustained investment by and partnership with business.
"Together these will enhance agricultural value and competitiveness – as well as lead to better incomes,' he said.
Mr Kovind said biotechnology, nanotechnology, data science, remote-sensing imaging, autonomous aerial and ground vehicles, and artificial intelligence hold the key to generating more value for agriculture.
The President expressed confidence that Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) will promote specific partnerships that will benefit India’s farmers.
Rakesh Bharti Mittal, president of CII, advice that the states be ranked on an index called ‘Ease of Doing Agriculture’ on the lines of the Ease of Doing Business.”
Union Minister for Food Processing Industries, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who was also present at the event, said, according to a study conducted by her ministry, around Rs1 lakh crore worth of agri-produce is wasted for lack of processing.
She informed the gathering of a new scheme that the ministry is partnering with the World Bank to create a food processing revolution. “ Around Rs 3,000 crore will be used to fund farmers for projects up to Rs 10 lakh each,” she added.
The 13th CII Agro Tech India event witnessed 158 domestic exhibitors and 37 international exhibitors. The exhibition has the participation of 14 states and eight countries.(UNI)