Reducing Delhi’s Seasonal Air Pollution
November 16, 2021
Thick smog now shrouds India’s capital city, Delhi, causing school closures, construction shutdowns, and work-from-home restrictions on office personnel. Much of the pollution derives from area farmers burning rice straw left in fields following harvest. In Issues, Jon Hellin and Sudhanshu Singh examine factors that motivate farmers to burn their fields and how they might be encouraged to change. Rather than imposing penalties, the authors write, developing new technologies and economic policies can make it more profitable for farmers to adopt cleaner agricultural practices, diversify into other crops, and market rice straw for energy and food production, among other actions.