Union of Turkish Agricultural Chambers (TZOB) President Şemsi Bayraktar made a video press statement on stubble fires that started in many regions these days when the harvest intensified.
Bayraktar said that these fires cause the destruction of the natural and agricultural ecosystem, the decrease in the amount of organic matter in the soil which is insufficient in organic matter, the decrease in the water holding capacity of the soil, the increase in water and soil erosion, the destruction of vertebrate and invertebrate organisms, in short, pave the way for the inefficiency of the soil and the death of nature.
“Stubble fires are also triggered by the rise in air temperatures and sparks from electric wires. In this regard, all relevant institutions, especially local administrations and fire brigades, should take precautions. Weeds on the roads should be cleaned and flammable material should be removed, warning signs should be hung on the roadsides about the damages of stubble fires,” he said.
“According to the 2872 numbered Environmental Law, although there are administrative penalties, some of our farmers unfortunately continue to burn stubble. The yield of the soil is generally determined by the minerals, fertilisers and biological organisms in the soil. When these are burnt, our farmers have to throw more fertiliser. When stubble is added to the soil, the soil needs less fertiliser and there is an increase in yield. Burning stubble makes it easier to work the soil, but the strength of the soil is lost. Our farmers should be aware of this. Stubble that is not added to the soil causes more fertiliser to be used, that is, the cost increases,” he noted.
Indicating that Turkish citizens should also be sensitive to stubble fires, he explained, “Especially cigarette butts thrown on the roadsides that are not fully extinguished can cause the labour of our farmers for 1 year to turn into ashes. In addition to the negativities experienced in the wheat and barley market this year, our citizens should be more careful not to destroy the labour of our farmers.”
“5.8 per cent of forest fires are caused by stubble”
“Wheat and barley fields on the edge of our forests carry great risks. In the last 5 years, 13 thousand 207 forest fires broke out and 5.8 per cent of these forest fires, 762 of them, were caused by stubble fires. No one has the right to damage our national wealth regardless of the reason,” he added.
“Moreover our religion forbids the burning and killing of living things. There is no difference between the destruction of thousands of living things due to stubble fires and the killing of an animal alive on the street. In order to prevent stubble fires and to raise awareness of our farmers on this issue, in addition to educational activities, fatwas should be given in Friday sermons that stubble burning is not right.
For the protection of natural resources and sustainable agriculture, outdated practices such as stubble burning should be stopped, new suggestions should be offered to farmers and existing beneficial practices such as direct sowing technology should be made widespread,” he concluded…