Air pollution levels in Delhi have increased to an alarming level and during the stubble burning season in neighboring states, Punjab and Haryana make the situation worse. However good news is, ACIAR (Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research) has offered a technology called “Happy Seeder”, in which farmers will be planting seeds directly into stubble. With the help from this technology, farmers will not be required to burn the crops and there is no need for tilling or clearing the land.
Major cause of air pollution in North India is paddy straw burnt by farmers in the states especially Punjab and Haryana. It is estimated that approximately 30 million tonnes of paddy straw is produced by Punjab and Haryana annually.
Spokesperson of Australian High Commission in India said that new project by ACIAR, will address the issue of stubble burning and will improve environment conditions. Australian High Commissioner to India, Harinder Sidhu believes that ACIAR initiative to use the technology “Happy Seeder” will be a great success. It will not only address the issue of stubble burning but also improve health of the soil.
Initially, the International Food Policy Research Institute in Chandigarh will host the workshop. The workshop will be attended by the officials from Central Government, Punjab and Haryana Government, Research Scientists, machinery manufacturers, extension officials and farmers. They will explore the ways for creating awareness about “Happy Seeder” technology to improve its acceptance.
The project is titled as “Value chain and policy interventions to accelerate adoption of Happy Seeder zero-tillage in rice-wheat farming systems across the Gangetic Plains” and intended to showcase the usefulness of the Happy Seeder.
Happy Seeder technology is a great example of co-operation between India and Australia. It was developed with the support of ACIAR. Australian Engineers and Punjab University have contributed to the development of this technology.
ACIAR said it will work with the partners from Indian Government, agriculture business sector and Center for Global Food and Resources at the University of Adelaide to make this project successful.