In earlier days, only a small portion of the stubble was burned. However, in recent times, labour shortages, increased use of harvester technology (which leaves a longer stubble) and lack of market linkages to maximise residue use have all contributed to a significant rise in crop residue burning.
– In India rice, wheat and sugarcane alone contribute nearly 80% of the agro-residue.
– Uttar Pradesh produces nearly a quarter (130 million tonnes) of India’s total agro-residue.
– Punjab, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Bihar are the other top agro-residue producers.
– Nearly 550-650 million tonnes of gross agro-residue is generated in India. Of this, 160–190 million tonnes is available for bio-energy, according to the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) website.