● Over 25,000 farmers in Punjab and Haryana, covering more than 5,00,000 acres, have enrolled in nurture.farm’s program and committed to not burn stubble this year
● nurture.farm will provide farmers with free spraying services to encourage this sustainable practice.
● nurture.farm has partnered with IARI & IIM Rohtak for developing and scaling the solution under Phase I of the initiative
nurture.farm, an integrated technology-led solutions provider for sustainable agriculture globally and a part of the OpenAg™ network of UPL, announced their program to end stubble burning practices in the states of Punjab and Haryana by replacing the matchstick with a spray service for the PUSA decomposer, a bioenzyme developed by the Indian Agriculture Research Institute (IARI). It decomposes the stubble within 20-25 days after spraying and turns it into manure, further improving the soil quality. The company has signed up over 5,00,000 acres in this program and onboarded more than 25,000 farmers who will be availing this sustainable agriculture practice free of cost.
This comes as a great relief to farmers, citizens, and policymakers alike. Every year, the deliberate burning of 5.7 million acres of rice paddy stubble contributes to polluting the air with toxins, making it unbreathable for people in the nearby cities. The stubble burning impacts the soil quality while nutrients and microbes die and so does any other flora and fauna that comes in the fire’s way. However, the lack of any other viable choice pushes the farmers to burn the crops, as burning is cheaper, faster and clears the land in time for the next cropping cycle.
Commenting on the initiative, Jai Shroff, Global CEO, UPL Ltd., said, “We are excited about the initiative, and we believe this will go a long way in benefiting both the farmers and society-at-large. Our commitment to sustainability remains unparalleled. Through OpenAg™, UPL is creating a network that changes the way a whole industry thinks and works and will help make the agricultural process more sustainable.”
Commenting on the initiative, Dhruv Sawhney, COO and Business Head, nurture.farm said: “75% of Indian farmers are owners of land which span a hectare or less. For them, time and resources are limited, and so they are risk-averse to try new things. They are aware of the negative implications of crop burning, but lack of access to the latest technology and farm mechanisation pushes them to burn the crop. Any delay in handling leftover stubble directly affects their next cropping cycle, which has a domino effect on their yield and ultimately their income."
“This is where nurture.farm steps in and acts as the facilitator of PUSA, a bio-decomposer developed by IARI. Partnering with IIM Rohtak, we have developed an entire ecosystem where the farmers can register for the service via our nurture.farm app and avail our large spraying machines to decompose their stubble. Offering the service free of cost incentivises the farmers to adopt practices that ensure sustainable outcomes, which is the core of all our services at nurture.farm. We are excited about this initiative because this will have a direct benefit on the farm’s sustainability as well as the environment and public health," he further added.
The protocol verification and oversight of the project have been developed in collaboration with IIM-Rohtak. Prof. Dheeraj Sharma, Director, IIM Rohtak said:
“We are glad to be a part of this great initiative by nurture.farm where we can create a direct impact by piloting a sustainable agricultural model at this unprecedented scale and proportion. Stubble burning is a major cause of environmental and economic concern. By devising a framework to produce, procure, and make the PUSA spray available at the grassroots level, we are confident about putting an end to this unhealthy practice. We are excited to embark on this journey of sustainability and to track its impact on the environment, health, and the farm.”
The highlight of the initiative is that it ensures a win-win for all the stakeholders involved. For farmers, stubble decomposition leads to increased organic carbon and soil health and a significant cost reduction in fertilisers for the next cropping cycle. Being a sustainable agriculture practice, the initiative also ensures a reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases and a reduction in toxins and soot that gets released into the air. When practised for a while, it considerably increases the soil’s nutrient health and microbial activity, ensuring better yield at reduced input costs for the farmers and organic produce for the consumers. nurture.farm plans to scale up the operations to end stubble burning in the states of Punjab and Haryana in the next three years.
nurture.farm is an open, digital platform for sustainable agriculture. nurture.farm offers complete integrated solutions to secure sustainable outcomes for the agricultural ecosystem. nurture.farm's solutions reach across the food system, expanding choice-making access transparent, affordable and convenient for all. nurture.farm is part of the OpenAg™ network, embodies the spirit and purpose of OpenAg™, and will push the frontiers in leveling up sustainable outcomes for emerging markets by helping farmers increase their farm productivity and have a positive impact on the planet.
UPL Ltd. (NSE: UPL & BSE: 512070) is a global provider of sustainable agriculture products & solutions, with annual revenue exceeding $5 billion. We are a purpose-led company. Through OpenAg™, UPL is focused on facilitating progress for the entire agricultural value chain. We are building a network that redefines the way an entire industry thinks and works – open to fresh ideas, innovative ways and new answers as we strive towards our mission to make every single food product more sustainable.
As one of the largest agriculture solutions companies worldwide, our robust portfolio consists of biologicals and traditional crop protection solutions with more than 13,600 registrations. We are present in more than 130 countries, represented by more than 10,000 colleagues globally. For more information about our integrated portfolio of solutions across the food value chain including seeds, post-harvest, as well as physical and digital services.
OpenAg™ is an open network to create sustainable growth for all – no limits, no borders. Together we are reimagining sustainability, bringing all of the different players across the food system – from farmers to food producers to consumers - in the spirit of collaboration to change how the whole industry thinks, works and evolves. Through agility, creativity, and cooperation, and from new technologies, seeds, and biological solutions, to digital platforms, training programmes, and partnerships, OpenAg™ is an open door, an open heart, and an open invitation to work together to build sustainable, resilient, beneficial food systems.