The Crop Residue Management (CRM) project is in alignment with the Government of India's guidelines (2020) for CRM in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and National Capital Territory of Delhi
Godrej Properties Ltd. (GPL) successfully achieved zero stubble burning across ~2549 hectares of farmland in North India with its pilot Crop Residue Management (CRM) project. The village of Cheema Kalan achieved the distinction of being the first village where no stubble was burned in FY 22- 23.
The CRM project covered 15 villages in the rural Gurdaspur district of Punjab and touched 3956 farmer families. 1,25,954 quintals of stubble were collected, transported, and processed as a fuel in sugarcane factories for making Biomass pellets, animal fodder and mulch in soil. Additionally, this project sequestered approximately 5736 TCO2e in FY 22-23.
The CRM project is in alignment with the Government of India's guidelines (2020) for CRM in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and National Capital Territory of Delhi. The guidelines articulate protecting environment from air pollution and preventing loss of nutrients and soil micro-organisms caused by burning of crop residue.
The implementation of this project was mapped around public private partnership with the agriculture department emerging as a key stakeholder in project implementation across district and block level. GPL funded the operating expenses required for the implementation of the project and for behavioural change through knowledge dissemination activities throughout the year.
Speaking on the development, Anubhav Gupta, CEO, Vikhroli, Chief CSR and Sustainability Officer, Godrej Properties said, "Stubble burning is a seasonal problem, which exacerbates pollution levels, contributing to a public health crisis. With noxious fumes, the health of significant population in northern India continues to be impacted.
The Crop Residue Management (CRM) Project is a pilot initiative to reduce environmental and health impact. We are happy with the success of this pilot and will look to enhance our operations by driving behavioural change at grass root level, through educative initiatives with the farming community and hope to translate these learnings across various other regions in India."
This project's success has been possible through continuous farmer mobilisation and engagement for stubble management, including engagement with sugar mills for deployment of balers, mobilisation of communities and use of bio enzymes. NGO partner Feedback Foundation played an important role in engaging with farmer families across villages.
In addition to being able to ready the field in a timely manner for new sowing, avoiding stubble burning prevents soil erosion by retaining moisture, minimises extremes in soil temperature and increases the amount of organic matter in the soil.