Stubble burning results in 30 billion dollar loss annually: IFPRI

Farmers burning farm wastes. File photo

New Delhi (NVI): Pollution caused by rice straw residue burning in India results in a loss of 30 billion dollar annually, according to an estimate by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), .

According to a blog of the World Economic Forum, “Every year, farmers in Northwest India burn 39 million tonnes of rice straw residue on their farms in order to clear the field for the next harvest. This open burning, is one of the root causes of the air pollution in Delhi, and across India, which is home to 9 out of 10 of the worlds most polluted cities. This pollution is estimated by the IFPRI to result in a loss of 30 billion dollar annually.”.

Meanwhile, an international company IKEA’s new FÖRÄNDRING collection, has come forward to  help raise awareness on air pollution and crop burning.

Mats made of rice straw by IKEA.

FÖRÄNDRING collection, to be launched soon, uses rice straw residue as raw material for manufacturing products.

This provides a viable alternative to open burning for farmers and turns a waste product into a valuable resource, while simultaneously reducing air pollution.

IKEA hopes that the FÖRÄNDRING collection will help raise awareness on air pollution and crop burning.

The blog said that poor air quality can have a very negative effect on economies, leading to trillions in costs, particularly in healthcare and reduced labour productivity.

Moreover, pollution also leads to reduced crop yields, reduced electricity generation from solar panels and the stifling of international tourism.

Polluted cities like Delhi are experiencing new levels of brain drain, with people who have the capacity and means are migrating to cities with better air quality.

Due to poor air quality employees are more likely to get affected from coughs and sore throats to lung cancer and heart disease leading to drop in cognitive performance and productivity.

The blog also said, “WHO has analysed that air pollution affects more than 90 percent of the world’s population – making this a global health priority that requires action at comparable levels by both the public and private sectors”.

It is predicted that by 2060, there will be 3.8 billion lost working days annually due to effects of air pollution.

— RB

 

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