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Do you remember how the national capital city of Delhi became a gas chamber after Diwali, with immense air pollution? One of the major reasons was the burning of agricultural stubble by farmers in Haryana, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh. Though the Delhi government tried to speak to the states and get some measures installed to prevent this, the phenomenon keeps on happening at a miraculous speed and nothing much has changed. They have also been unable to find a practical solution to agricultural waste disposal.

Moreover, why should one burn agricultural waste and pollute the environment when it can be done in an ecofriendly and sustainable fashion by disposing agricultural waste and using it for growing mushrooms. Students of the MG Science College in Ahmedabad have found a novel way to do that and which certainly seems to be an excellent alternative way to tackle the growing issue of agricultural waste burning and management. They have solved the agricultural waste management problem and have used the by-product as an excellent manure to grow mushrooms.

In this method, that the students have devised, they use rice, wheat, and sugarcane barn. They chop them into small pieces and then add water to it. These ingredients are then kept in a recyclable plastic bag and which is allowed to ferment for about 2 weeks. Then, this product is ready to be used as a manure or fertilizer. In around two more weeks and after getting water and air, the product has edible mushrooms growing out of it. In fact, they have solved two problems with one solution: agricultural waste management and growing of mushrooms.

The students have been able to produce compost as well as mushrooms through the degradation of waste. The agricultural waste that they worked on has mostly been sugarcane and wheat. Experts laud the effort and say that this is the perfect season to grow mushrooms since one does not need to create or maintain optimal temperature. This is also the easiest method that farmers can learn and adopt quickly and stay away from stubble burning which causes such a lot of pollution.

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Syeda Ambia Zahan

About Syeda Ambia Zahan

Syeda Ambia Zahan is a Guwahati-based journalist who has been covering environment, politics, technology, human interest stories and defence for the past five years. She is a State Editor at 101Reporters.com and an erstwhile Journalist with Aaj Tak. She can be reached at twitter @syedaambia