Source: The Hindu:
Scientists and students of KVAFSU demonstrating how to convert farm waste into nutrient fodder in Ballur village.
The Delhi smog may have a simple answer, if the farmers of Punjab were to heed to the advice of scientists from the Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences University.
Scientists here feel that stubble burning or the practice of setting fire to crop residue before a sowing season, is adding to the problem of air pollution in the national capital. This can be completely avoided if farmers stop burning and reuse residue as fodder, they say.
“We have been asking farmers not to burn crop residue for decades now. But farmers are slow to change ,” says KVAFSU former vice chancellor C. Renuka Prasad . He says that the methods of using crop residue as fodder or feed inputs have been fairly standardised. KVAFSU has developed at least three methods to convert stubble and lops and tops of crops into fodder in the farm backyard.
Central institutions like the National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology (ICAR-NIANP) have even developed processes to make fodder at an industrial scale, using discarded crop residue. Farmers should use these and abstain from burning farm waste, he said.
There is a widespread belief that such burning is adding to the pollution. Agencies like NASA have claimed that stubble burning is a major component of the smoke. To find lasting solutions to such issues, we should explore long term measures like changing the habits of farmers, Dr Prasad said.
“Farmers in Punjab tend to burn wheat chaff as they think that animals don’t like it. But it can be treated to make it edible and nutritious by some simple techniques that we have developed,’’ says Chandrapal Singh, nutrition scientist and former registrar of the university. We are willing to share these formulae with farmers or the government for its extension activities, the registrar said.
“The university has come up with methods that are simple, cost effective and replicable even on a small scale. We have come up with a formula where grains and crop residue of maize, jowar, cotton seeds, can be mixed in a proper proportion to ensure a healthy meal for milch animals. We have also perfected a system of using residue of annual crops like banana and sugarcane. Banana waste is treated in Urea and salts for a few days and fed as vitalizing inputs to animals. Similarly, bagasse or lops and tops of sugarcane are mixed with jaggery or molasses and some grains to create a balanced dietary compound. All these can be made at home, by farmers with minimal lands, without much expense. All they need is a little training,” says Dr. Singh.
Scientists in the depament of animal nutrition in Bidar and Bengaluru are working on projects to further simplify such methods, Dr. Singh said.
Source: : http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/Scientists-in-Bidar-have-a-simple-solution-for-Delhi-smog/article16706273.ece?
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