Core paddy area should be surveyed for facilitating farmers with the provision of modern machinery for the disposal of crop residuals. Government of Punjab is ensuring to promote pollution-free agriculture and in this regard, awareness is being provided to the farmers.
These views were expressed by Provincial Minister Agriculture, Syed Hussain. Jahania Gardezi while presided over the meeting regarding the disposal of crop residues in Civil Secretariat Lahore. In this meeting, Secretary Agriculture Ahmad Aziz Tarar and the representatives of the Judicial Water and Environment Commission established for control of smog, Ms. Hina Hafeez Ullah Ishaq and Syed Kamal Ali Haider also participated.
Briefing the Provincial Minister of Agriculture on this occasion, Director General Agriculture Extension Dr. Anjum Ali said that 2269 cases of setting fire to paddy residue have been reported this year, while 3224 cases were reported last year.
This year there were incidents of paddy burning on 8,733 acres while last year it was 11,619. Under directions of Honourable Lahore High Court, Lahore 702 FIRs registered against people who were found in setting fire to rice residues while last year it were 1503.
Agriculture department set up 18000 village volunteer committees to create awareness among the farmers and announcements are also being made from mosques. On this occasion, Director Agricultural Information, Muhammad Rafiq Akhtar, while giving a briefing, said that print, electronic and social media are also being used effectively for the awareness of the farmers. So far, the Department of Agriculture has also distributed more than 0.1 million copies of literature for the awareness of the farmers.
Director General Field Muhammad Akram while briefing said that Department has so far provided 1075 Happy Seeders to the farmers. Agriculture Secretary Punjab Ahmad Aziz Tarar said that the solution for eradication of paddy residues in fields is in use of mechanization. On the occasion, the Provincial Minister of Agriculture proposed to the Judicial Water and Environment Commission to fine those who set fire to paddy residue on the basis of land holding so that small farmers can get relief.