Crop residue management challenges, opportunities and way forward for sustainable food-energy security in India: A review

April 01, 2023 | Soil and Tillage Research | Source

Introduction: Crop residues, abundant in India, offer valuable nutrients for agriculture. However, their improper disposal, often through burning, harms soil fertility and the environment. India's vast rice and wheat residue, largely burned, worsens emissions. Effective management is crucial, balancing agricultural needs with environmental sustainability. Policy interventions aim to curb burning, but integrated approaches are essential for lasting solutions. 

Key findings: An Indian research team led by Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research has conducted a review of sustainable solutions to manage residue, such as retaining it on fields or using reduced tillage methods. The review also highlights the potential of crop residue for biochar production, new industries, and bioenergy. However, challenges exist in infrastructure and cost for these processes. The review calls for further research on how residue affects crop breeding, weed and nutrient dynamics, and insect interactions. Overall, managing crop residue sustainably is crucial for preserving natural resources and supporting agriculture in the face of climate change.


Figure | Sequence of machines used for in-situ management of crop residue and sowing operations.