FRIDAY, March 01, 2024
nationthailand

Chiang Mai governor orders tight measures against burning of farm waste

Chiang Mai governor orders tight measures against burning of farm waste

Chiang Mai governor has instructed chiefs of the province’s 25 districts to intensify measures against the burning of agricultural residue in a bid to reduce PM2.5 pollution.

The seasonal crop burning in the North usually has the region covered in an unhealthy haze of fine dust, posing severe health problems to local residents.

In a teleconference with the 25 district chiefs on Tuesday, governor Nirat Pongsitthithavorn instructed them to strictly enforce regulations prohibiting the burning of agricultural residue.

The district chiefs were also reminded about the Chiang Mai provincial administration’s decision to ban the burning of farm waste without permission from January 1 to April 30.

Farmers are now required to seek approval from the district office before they can burn their farm scrub. Once permission is received, the burning will have to be reported and monitored via an application called FireD.

Chiang Mai governor orders tight measures against burning of farm waste

The district chiefs have also been tasked with finding out if the burning of farm waste can be avoided and instead encourage farmers to use other methods. For instance, farmers can be encouraged to plough and bury the residue or sell hay and other residue to energy recycling plants, which will then turn the waste into compressed energy bars that can be sold to factories.

The governor said 1,124 spots covering 140,569 rai (22,491 hectares) have been registered for burning farm residue. However, he said, district chiefs have yet to review the requests and offer alternative methods.

At the meeting, Nirat instructed the district chiefs to personally check if the burning of farm waste is necessary and if alternative methods can be employed.

Chiang Mai governor orders tight measures against burning of farm waste

He said the district chiefs can offer help to farmers like providing them with fuel for their tractors to plough the fields and bury the garbage.

Nirat also instructed all municipalities in Chiang Mai to remove burnable garbage from communities, so local residents do not burn them.

After the meeting, San Kamphaeng district chief Pinyo Puasriphan told reporters that he would actively work on convincing farmers to plough and bury their farm residue on 8,510 rai of farmland.

His office has launched campaigns offering farmers help with fuel if they agree to bury their farm waste.

Mae On district chief Chalit Thipkham said 115 spots covering 27,000 rai of farmland have been registered for burning, but added that he would try and convince the farmers to use other methods. He hopes to prevent burning on at least 12,000 rai of farmland.

Chiang Mai governor orders tight measures against burning of farm waste

Chiang Mai deputy governor Thossapol Phuanudom, meanwhile, said the provincial administration will expedite efforts to have energy recycling plants buy farm waste to make energy compressed bars for use in thermal power plants or factories.

Meanwhile, Charoen Pimkhan, Chiang Mai's chief agriculture officer, said 75,000 families have registered with his office to plant 500,000 rai of rice and receive help for handling leftover hay and other residue.

He said the office has provided some machines for compressing the hay, which can either be used as animal feed or sold at 40 to 45 baht per bale.

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