CII Media Releases
Revised Crop Residue Management Guidelines to Boost Environment-Friendly Solutions for Rice Straw
Sep 29, 2023

Revised Crop Residue Management Guidelines to Boost Environment-Friendly Solutions for Rice Straw

The Government of India is committed to helping farmers to manage stubble said Smt. S. Rukmani, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. We have launched revised guidelines on crop residue management and are now promoting ex-situ management of straw, offering financial assistance for capital cost of machinery through subsidy of up to 65% for projects, while industry will need to contribute 25% towards operational costs, she said. She emphasised that stubble can be a source of wealth and spoke of the Government’s initiative on paddy straw supply chain, promoted in a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model with the purpose of involving industries that can utilize it. There are many uses for paddy straw, but there was no robust supply chain available for these industries, she elaborated.

She was speaking at a National Workshop on Clean & Green Solutions for Rice Straw Management, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in Delhi today. The workshop brought together the government, industry, agriculture experts, and farmers onto a single platform with the objective of disseminating policy guidelines on Crop Residue Management (CRM), deliberating on feasible solutions for CRM, forging mutually beneficial partnerships while promoting peer-to-peer learning leveraging progressive farmers from CII-intervened areas.

Sharing his perspective on the long-standing issue of stubble burning, Mr. S. Sivakumar, Chairman, CII National Agriculture Council and Group Head, Agri & IT Business, ITC Ltd said that in every problem there lies a solution, but almost all solutions create new problems. This is a continuous journey, and the issue of rice straw management is no exception. For instance, burning stubble seemed like a solution at one time given the short window period between harvesting one crop and sowing the next, but burning ruined soil quality and created enormous pollution.  To understand what is hindering a complete solution, he said, we need to understand where gaps exist whether in terms of awareness, cost issues or where investment is holding us back: each region will face unique challenges that must be overcome.  Through this workshop, we hope that CII will facilitate efforts to resolve the next-order issues, he said.

Ms. Seema Arora, Deputy Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry said that while much ground has been covered, we need to further raise awareness and scale the crop residue management project. All of us, including stakeholders and farmers, should come together to eliminate burning entirely in North India, she emphasized.

Smt. S. Rukmani also launched the CII Toolkit– Clean Air & Healthy Soil - for farmers, which will be developed in local languages and shared with farmers during the regional-level workshops. Exemplary farmers from zero-stubble burning villages were felicitated for their contribution towards a zero-stubble burning movement. 

At a Policy Session: Building Crop Residue Management Supply Chain, Mr. Arvind Meshram, Deputy Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare elaborated on the revised guidelines and said that while machinery such as the Happy Seeder, Super Seeder, and others can help in incorporating paddy straw into the soil, benefiting farmers by enriching the soil, however, the quantity of paddy straw produced is substantial, equivalent to 25 million tons. Therefore, the Government is promoting paddy straw supply chain under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model encouraging industries to participate and optimally utilise paddy. He shared details of the scheme, adding that the CRM project will benefit farmers by providing them with income from selling paddy straw, while industries will receive a continuous supply. Job opportunities will be created through this paddy straw supply chain.

Shri S. S Vaseeharam, General Manager & OIC, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development shared details on the Agri Infrastructure Fund saying that there is 1 lakh crore for disbursement under the fund, adding that there is vast scope for utilisation of the fund, which will benefit farmers and the environment.

Two Technical tracks were held during the day focusing on Actionable Solutions at the Farm-level and Clean and Green Economy Solutions for Rural Areas. Discussions at these sessions centred around long- term benefits and risks of in-situ management practices where farmers shared their experiences; scaling technology adoption with farming communities, the business case for the biomass supply chain to promote green power and process heat from rice straw; sustainable packaging from rice straw; green building materials and collaboration between the private sector and civil society to scale solutions for clean and green economy.  The focus was on finding actionable solutions in five identified areas -farm-level interventions for mulching and straw incorporation; biomass collection and aggregation; co-firing biomass for thermal power; pulping and packaging products and crop residue-based construction elements.


29 September 2023

New Delhi

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