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Workshop highlights havocs of burning rice residues

 Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 31 2018: A one-day workshop cum brainstorming session on "Rice Residue Burning in Manipur: Issues and Strategies for Sustainable Management" was inaugurated by Minister of Agriculture, Veterinary and Animal Husbandry V Hangkhanlian at Hotel Classic Grande today.

Organised by the Indian Association of Hill Farming, Meghalaya in collaboration with ICAR RC for North East Hill Region, Umiam, Meghalaya, the occasion was also attended by Prof Adya Prasad Pandey, Vice-Chancellor, Manipur University; Dr Suhel Aktar, Additional Chief Secretary; PN Praveen Kumar, GM (NABARD); Ph Rajendra Singh, Director, Department of Agriculture; Dr Y Nabachandra Singh, Director, Directorate of Environment and Dr N Prakash, Director, ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Umiam, Meghalaya as guests of honour, special guests and president respectively.

Speaking as the chief guest, Hangkhanlian highlighted havocs of burning rice residues in the environment which pollutes the land, air, water as well as human health.

He informed that about 3.5 tonnes of rice residue is being burned per ha area per year and in the process all the Carbon, Nitrogen and Sulphur are completely burned thereby polluting soil, water and atmosphere.

Prof Pandey stated that problems and issues of burning rice straws are foresighted in Manipur unlike in Haryana UP and Punjab.

He observed that awareness programmes and training of farmers and youths need to be initiated by the concerned Departments to utilize paddy straws in many useful ways such as animal feed, straw based products, composting etc.

for self employment.

Dr Suhel Aktar stressed on the need to go for organic farming using the compost out of rice residues as an important component.

Praveen Kumar highlighted NABARD's contribution in ongoing projects on rural development, climate change, increase in farmer's income, watershed development etc.

He assured that enough fund is available with NABARD if project proposals are properly submitted.

Dr Prakash suggested that the State Government should take up necessary action for systematic marketing of agriculture products and create storage facilities to help the farmers in increasing their income.

He also conveyed that Supreme Court has directed Governments of Haryana, Punjab and UP to submit action plan for controlling burning of rice residue.

Rajendra and Dr Nabachandra also highlighted ill effects of burning of rice straws and its havoc in the environment and seminars and workshops should be conducted in the present context.

Dr Meghachndra delivered the welcome address.

Dr Anup Das, Principal Scientist and Secretary of Indian Hill Farming delivered keynote address while Dr SS Roy pronounced vote of thanks.

On the occasion, a souvenir was released by the dignitaries.