Causes of emissions from agricultural residue burning in North-West India: evaluation of a technology policy response

The burning of agricultural field residue, such as stalks and stubble, during the wheat and rice harvesting seasons in the Indo-Gangetic plains results in substantial emissions of trace gases and particles. This pollution can have adverse health and climate impacts. Paper uses a representative sample of farmers from the seven districts of Punjab to identify the determinants of emissions from open-field burning of rice residue. The study finds that the use of coarse varieties of rice as opposed to fine-grained varieties such as Basmati increases the likelihood of farmers using the combine-harvester technology, which in turn makes burning almost certain. Although a ban on burning residue was in effect in Amritsar district during the year of the survey, it had moderate impact on burning.

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