Clean Air with Improved Agricultural Crop Residue and Biomass Management in Asia


Clean Air with Improved Agricultural Crop Residue and Biomass Management in Asia

06 June 2024

Poor management of agricultural residues and biomass can contribute to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in Asia and the Pacific. Due to increasing labor shortages in rural areas and lack of appropriate machinery, many farmers cannot collect crop residues and other biomass from fields for productive use. Economic pressure to use land intensively has led farmers to plant successive crops, requiring land to be prepared for the next crop within a narrow time window. This window is shrinking further due to changing rainfall patterns, influenced by climate change. This is particularly challenging for rice-wheat systems, where land preparation for wheat planting must occur immediately after rice harvest. Burning crop residues in open fields remains a common practice due to its perceived efficiency, but it contributes to air pollution, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and reduced soil fertility and crop yields.

Government initiatives like bans on residue burning have not solved the problem. Many innovative technologies have been proposed to reduce crop field burning by using specialized harvesters and balers to efficiently remove the residue and convert it into valuable products. Carbon markets can also provide an incentive for farmers to avoid residue burning.

This workshop explored the causes and challenges of crop residue burning and discussed solutions through real-world experiences in Asia. The session also focused on the challenges and opportunities in agricultural mechanization for vulnerable groups such as smallholder farmers and women agricultural workers, strengthening the policy environment, and leveraging South-South and triangular cooperation. 

Program and Learning Materials: 
Date Session / Activity Presentation Material Speaker(s)
06 Jun 2024 Materials will be uploaded once available after the event.


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