Evaluating a ‘happy’ solution to India’s crop residue burning
by Ishita Datta
At the end of every rice-growing season in north-west India, usually in mid-November, farmers harvest their crop using combine harvesters. Most farmers then burn the left-over rice straw out in the fields to make way for planting wheat, which is the season’s next crop, as there is a short window to harvest rice, dispose of rice residues, and plant the subsequent wheat crop. But burning crop residue in this way is one of the major causes of air pollution in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and eastern Uttar Pradesh, causing an annual seasonal surge in black carbon emissions.