18th February, 2019

Maharashtra has solutions to deal stubble and increase farmers income

The farm stubble has caused enough trouble to Punjab and Haryana and in Delhi and surrounding areas in the last few days. Many agro-enthusiasts across the country put their minds and ideas to work to contain the menace.

As Chennai based form offered churning bio-fuel out of the stubble, a Maharashtra-based farmer, Chandrashekar Bhadsavle, too has a simple solution that can make breathing easy and help farmers boost their income.

Bhadsavle is not a new name that is becoming synonymous to agro-solutions. Different departments of Maharashtra government have used his expertise to boost farmers’ income and stop forest fires.

Agriculture experts and scientists believe that the farming method suggested by Bhadsavle can be implemented and it does hold a lot of ‘promise’.

What is the method?

Bhadsavle’s method — SRT farming — is very simple.

Under the SRT (Saguna Rice Technique) method, spadework is completely avoided and the residue of the harvested crop (paddy stubble in Punjab) is disintegrated into soil by using weedicides and microbial cultures.

This increases the organic carbon content of soil which increases its fertility. “When you let the plant residue of earlier crop decompose in soil, it will then bring in earthworms, which will help crops”, he added.

In fact, the results from Vidarbha — the suicide belt of Maharashtra —where cotton farmers are using the SRT technique, are overwhelming and they swear by its success.

Vijay Kolekar, an agronomist with the Agriculture department in Maharashtra, who is currently working at a World Bank supported project, said SRT worked because retaining the stubble and having it decomposed in the soil brought out the organic content for the next crop.

About Bhadsavle

Bhadsavle has a Masters in Food Microbiology from UC Davis (USA). He has a 50-acre farm Suguna Baug on the outskirts of Mumbai in Neral. He doesn’t resort to tilling or burning of crop residue and has increased productivity in his farm year-on-year.

Some 2,500 farmers in Neral use his technique.