Anti-smog action may delay wheat sowing in rice belt.

LAHORE -- The ongoing anti-smog crackdown may impede wheat sowing campaign in the rice belt as farmers are not clearing paddy stubble from their fields through manual or chemical means.

'We don't have finances and tools other than applying the centuries old technique of burning the paddy crop leftovers for preparing our fields for next crop (wheat) in the small window available for both clearing remnants of the previous harvest and ploughing the land for next plantation,' says Abu Bakr, a farmer from Gujranwala district.

But the anti-smog squad of the provincial government is imposing heavy fines on the farmers who are getting rid of stubble through burning for timely preparations of lands for wheat sowing, he says.

Devoid of financial and technical resources, small farmers in the rice area are sitting idle at their homes, perplexed how to prepare their fields for the next crop, he adds.

Farmers lack resources to opt for alternative to stubble burning

If no step is taken by the government at the earliest, wheat plantation will at least be delayed if not missed and late sowing will lead to poor crop yield, he fears.

orsing his views, Kisan Board Pakistan central vice-president Amanullah Chattha regrets that the...

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