ATAI-supported research, “Promoting Sustainable Agricultural Practices Through Rental Markets in India” was recently featured in an opinion article in The Indian Express.
Agricultural productivity gains and the commercialization of the agricultural sector may negatively impact the long-term health of the environment. In northern India, mechanized harvesting of rice paddy fields has increased farmer profits, but has also created massive air quality problems since it is connected with the practice of burning crop residue to clear fields after harvest. One potential solution to this is crop residue management (CRM) equipment, which helps farmers mulch and incorporate paddy residue into their fields, obviating the need to burn. The Indian government has supported rental markets for CRM equipment by subsidizing the cost of this equipment for custom hiring centers (CHCs) so that these centers may rent equipment to farmers; however, few farmers use CRM equipment. In cooperation with the Government of Punjab, this project will test strategies to encourage farmers to use more environmentally-friendly alternatives to residue burning. The researchers will measure farmer take-up of CRM technology, as well as yields, input use, profits, and area planted. They will also measure crop burning prevalence and environmental outcomes like pollution to understand whether public interventions can help manage the tension between agricultural productivity growth and environmental impacts.
Read the article below and learn more about the project, “Promoting Sustainable Agricultural Practices Through Rental Markets in India” linked in the right sidebar.