Crop residue burning in northwest India contributes to nearly a quarter of Delhi’s air pollution in the winter months, creating a crisis situation and public health emergency every year in November. A piece of innovative agricultural technology, The Happy Seeder, has recently been recommended by India’s National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS) as a holistic solution to eliminate crop residue burning while increasing farmer’s incomes, improving soil fertility and reducing water use. However, its uptake has been slow and currently less than 1 percent of agricultural acreage in northwest India is using this technology.
A new report titled The Evergreen Revolution, jointly published by several groups including the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) and Borlaug Institute for South Asia, endorses NAAS’s recommendation.
The report states: “We believe a full transition away from crop burning in northwest India in the next five years is possible. As pioneers of the agricultural system change, India’s farmers are poised to spark the world’s next agricultural transformation. India and other countries worldwide face increasing challenges in meeting the multiple demands for food security, clean air and water and stable climate. India, a centre of the initial Green Revolution, can spark an Evergreen Revolution and redefine the future of agriculture.”