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Haryana Government In Association With Deloitte, Successfully Completes Its Pilot On Addressing Stubble Burning Incidents In Karnal District

The key objective was to match the farmer’s demand for equipment to manage the crop residue with the right equipment owners, to efficiently and rapidly allocate the machinery

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The Government of Haryana, with support from Deloitte, has successfully completed its pilot climate leadership project on ‘Crop Residue Management’ (CRM), which helped reduce stubble burning incidents and manage the air pollution situation in the region. The pilot project began in Karnal district’s red zone villages and resulted in a 69 per cent reduction in stubble-burning incidents. While this initiative included mobilising farmers, communities, and private sector partners, an important element of the outreach was a multilingual mobile application ‘Krishi Yantra Sathi’. It was designed to bring together all the relevant stakeholders, including local farmers, various Custom Hiring Centers (CHC), and Farmer Producer Organisations (FPO). 

The key objective was to match the farmer’s demand for equipment to manage the crop residue with the right equipment owners, to efficiently and rapidly allocate the machinery. This application encourages the uptake of more economical and environmentally conscious use of stubble while generating employment opportunities for local communities. Moreover, an innovative communication and awareness programme was also designed and implemented to educate farmers across the Karnal district on the adverse effects of stubble burning and help them understand the government programmes and schemes available for stubble management. 

These included a series of awareness-building initiatives like radio jingles, videos, and door-to-door awareness campaigns, periodical WhatsApp messages, videos on the “Progressive Farmer Mascot- Parivartan Prakash”, and distributing calendars and tote bags with targeted messaging.

Narhari Bangar, IAS, Director, Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Haryana said, “With proof of concept and a working, replicable model, we are planning to scale the initiative in the state of Haryana to cover 8 districts, namely, Fatehabad, Sirsa, Jind, Kaithal, Kurukshetra, Ambala, Yamuna Nagar, and Karnal, which are responsible for approximately 90 per cent of fires in the state.”  

To address the lack of equipment availability, Deloitte, through the Haryana State CSR Trust, is providing 15 sets of Crop Residue Management (CRM) Equipment that include tractors, slashers, hay rakes, balers, trolleys, and lucky seeders to the Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Karnal. The department through a transparent and competitive bidding process, has selected a set of individual farmers/ FPOs/Entrepreneurs, who will be provided with the equipment at an event tomorrow, in Karnal.

Viral Thakker, Partner and Sustainability Leader, Deloitte India added, “The burning of farmland between crop cycles is a pervasive problem across northern India, which has a significant environmental impact and a heavy human cost. One of the many 2 causes of stubble burning is the lack of availability of stubble removal equipment like supersedes and balers at the right time. Small and marginal farmers are the most impacted, and hence, Deloitte supported this initiative by facilitating a sustainable ecosystem that helps bridge the equipment availability gap.”  

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. 

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