Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked farmers, especially of Punjab and Haryana, to take a pledge of not burning crop stubble which is a major cause of pollution and suggested them to use it instead for earning and higher food production.
He suggested that he was taking an electoral risk by making such utterances as some people might say that Modi "does not know politics" since he is giving such an advice to farmers when elections are near.
"Do not burn it (crop residue). It is your property which is worth crore of rupees. Do not burn it," Modi said while addressing a gathering here after laying foundation stone of AIIMS here.
"Some people will say Modi does not know politics.
Elections are near and he is giving such advice to farmers.
My farmer brothers and sisters, I have nothing to do with the maths of politics. I only want farmers' welfare," he said, seeking to connect with the agriculture community.
"In the absence of complete knowledge, we used to burn the stubble....but now science has proved that wastage left after crop harvesting is the food for the soil. If we bury that stubble in the soil, it will be good food for your soil.
Like mother land needs water and the same way, it also needs food. If the soil gets crop residue then it will boost the productivity of your field," he said.
He urged farmers to eschew the practice of crop burning which could yield monetary returns to growers.
"I am not a person who only talks about environment and I just want farmers' welfare. Therefore, be it Punjab and Haryana, western UP and North Rajasthan, do not burn stubble," he said.
"There is a possibility of making ethanol out of it.
Indian government is working on it. In coming days, farmers will get benefit and they will make money from stubble.
Therefore, take a pledge today that food for soil will not be burnt and it will be buried which will become manure and which will also boost yield," he said.