Ferozepur farmers devise novel way to deal with stubble - ECAS Punjab

Ferozepur farmers devise novel way to deal with stubble

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Anirudh Gupta

Ferozepur, October 28

When stubble burning incidents in the state have nearly quadrupled from the last year, a group of farmers here has devised a novel way of cutting the straw, baling it in rectangular shape and eventually dispatching it to the biomass plant for power generation using a modified tractor trailer.

Rs 1.5-crore Equipment

  • New equipment costing Rs 1.5 crore can cover up to 100 acres a day
  • The straw can be cut, baled into rectangular shape and dispatched to biomass plant

  • The process of reaping, raking, baling and lifting is done automatically using a sensor-based system

  • The straw is converted into bale, which is helping farmers make money by selling it at Rs 130 per kg

This combination of equipment, which is being put in use for the first time here, includes an AC tractor imported from the UK, a bailing machine from Belgium and a locally designed trailer, which hydraulically lifts the bale and stacks it for transportation to the plant.

Sukhbir Singh, an agriculturist, said they had earlier started round straw baling, however, this time, they are compressing the straw and packing it in a rectangular shape of 8 feet by 3 feet, which can be easily transported to plant. "The small round bale weighed 18 kg, while this rectangular bale weighs 400 kg to 500 kg per unit, as the straw gets highly compressed," he said. Gurpal Singh Chahal, DC, Ferozepur, said, "It is a treat to watch the removal operations of stubble straw by farmers in Naraingarh and Hakumat Wala villages. Hopefully, a large number of farmers should be able to reap the benefit of this initiative, so that we can eradicate the menace of stubble burning."

The farmers are able to make money by selling the bale at Rs 130 per kg. Jasbir Singh Awla, Managing Director, Sukhbir Agro Energy Limited, said they have set up three biomass plants using technology from Denmark which converts paddy stubble into power. "Already, three plants are operational at Jaitu, Lambi and Ferozepur, and the fourth one at Patiala in under construction," said Awla.

He said the power being generated is directly sent to the grid, for which they had signed a MoU with the PSPCL. "These plants have generated employment avenues in the region. They prevent farmers from burning stubble, thus helping in decreasing air pollution, and at the same time, the PSPCL gets local power that saves line losses incurred if purchased from other states by 15 per cent," said Awla.

"The biomass plant has come as a boost for us. We can do away with the practice of burning paddy stubbles," said farmers Lovedeep Singh and Sukhwinder. "Selling the residue will help farmers, who have been struggling because of the rising cost of sowing and growing crops, said Joginder Singh of Hakumat Wala village.

from The Tribune https://ift.tt/3oArPPZ

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