Every year, approximately 5.7 million acres of rice paddy stubble are burned on the farms of North India. This burning results in the formation of a blanket of smog that chokes the entirety of Delhi NCR during winter, making it one of the most polluted cities in the world. However, a debilitating absence of cost-effective and environment-friendly crop decomposition options compels the farmers in Punjab and Haryana to carry this stubble burning exercise out.
In an attempt to systematically address this issue from the grassroots, NABFOUNDATION, NABARD and nurture.farm are entering into an MoU to #EndTheBurn. The partnership will see these three entities collaborating to push the revolutionary PUSA Decomposer enzyme developed by IARI, Delhi. The simple nurture.farm phone application will allow farmers across Punjab and Haryana to avail the facility of having an SHG member come over to the farm with all the required infrastructure. Spraying the PUSA decomposer will allow the farmers to sow the next set of crops in as less as 8 days.
This is a remarkable breakthrough since the farmers would no longer have to employ the usage of hazardous methods to decompose their stubble. Additionally, the #EndTheBurn campaign will also provide direct livelihood opportunities to 4000 SHG members by training them as Krishi Mitras (field partners). The partnership aims to handhold the farmers in a very organic manner throughout the process and provide capacity building support to them through an uberization model involving boom-sprayers and other farm mechanization opportunities. In keeping with the development mandate, all the three agencies will be focusing upon empowering women in these states to emerge as #EndTheBurn champions.
Speaking on the occasion, Dhruv Sawhney, Business Head and COO, nurture.farm, stated, “We are excited about this partnership with NABFOUNDATION as it would facilitate us to create thousands of new jobs in innovative Agri technologies focussed on driving sustainable agricultural practices. In phase 1, nurture.farm served more than 25,000 farmers, and this partnership will help us take the initiative in the upcoming years to a more extensive level. Our association with NABFOUNDATION will add impetus to creating rural livelihood and empowering women with the latest Agri technologies to help transform their
lives and of the farmers whom they will be associated with.”
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. G R Chintala, Chairman, NABARD remarked, “Climate proofing of Indian agriculture is central to NABARD’s policy framework. NABARD has been accredited as National Implementing Entity (NIE) for Adaptation Fund in July 2012 and is the only NIE for India. Through NABFOUNDATION, our convergence with nurture.farm will allow us to leverage our strengths and bring about colossal change in the Indian agriculture ecosystem. The magnitude of this change can be quantified through the direct impact on the lives of the farmers and SHGs, and the indirect impact on the residents of North-India who
would now be able to breathe better for several winters to come. At a time when environmental crisis has occupied the centre stage of debates across the world, this project can be understood as a major step in the direction of more sustainable living; a dire need for both man and environment.”