25 February 2021, Uttar Pradesh: New Holland Agriculture has launched a training initiative in sustainable crop residue management to help farmers move away from the environmentally-damaging practice of stubble burning. A collaboration between New Holland and the Kisan Vikas Kendra (KVK) agricultural cooperative will see thousands of farmers given free training in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand over the next two years.
The health of millions of people in North India is jeopardised every year by toxic air pollution caused by farmers burning stubble in fields. Though this practice is banned by the government, farmers continue to favour it as a traditional way of quickly removing crop residue in time to sow the next crop. The training will show farmers alternative ways of removing – and subsequently selling – the stubble.
Mr. Ravi Singh, the Regional Sales Manager for Crop Solution in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, said: “The problem of stubble burning is getting worse every year because of labour shortages, the cost of removing crop residue from fields, and non-mechanized harvesting of crops. This new training initiative will prepare farmers with the knowledge, equipment and technology for sustainable straw management solutions before the next crop harvesting season.”
During the training sessions, New Holland will introduce farmers to sustainable agricultural mechanization methods and practices. The company’s experts will actively demonstrate how, with the help of modern farming equipment and technologies, crop residue can be baled for productive uses such as cattle feed, compost manure, fuel for biomass energy, and packing materials.
New Holland has recently donated a wide range of agricultural equipment – including tractors, balers, rakes and mulchers – to Krishi Vikas Kendras (KVKs) and agricultural universities in Ayodhya, Chandauli, Dadri and Pantnagar. New Holland is also helping farmers establish commercial links with the paper industry, Gaushalas, and biomass power plants, to increase the industrial and commercial utilization of straw bales.
To help make sustainable crop residue management affordable, the Government of Uttar Pradesh has announced a 50% subsidy scheme on the purchase of balers and rakes. New Holland, which is a brand of CNH Industrial N.V., can also help farmers purchase equipment by arranging finance through CNH Capital, the financial services business of CNH Global N.V.