By The Nation
With smog posing a major threat to public health, many provincial authorities are taking measures to fight smoke emissions, which are mostly caused by the burning of agricultural fields, especially for sugarcane harvesting.
Suphanburi Governor Nimit Wanchaithanawong had called all agencies, sugar factory owners and district chiefs on Monday (January 13) to find a solution to the problem of smoke and law enforcement after delaying the agricultural burning ban for a year for locals to adapt to the new measure. However, some farmers continue to burn their fields, especially at night. The governor has announced a reward to people who inform authorities of any such violations by farm owners.
Meanwhile, Lampang, Phrae, Kamphaeng Phet, Phetchabun and other provinces, where there are sugarcane plantations, will encourage farmers to use other methods for harvesting and also install more PM2.5 detectors.
Some sugar companies said that the remedial measures have forced sugar companies to procure sugarcane harvesters as farmers do not have the ability to buy these machines. Sugar factories that need sugar must supply the harvesters. If there are not enough sugarcane harvesters for the farmers to supply to the factory, it must reduce the quantity and the planting area.