Emissions Study to Differentiate Characteristics of Paddy and Wheat Crop Residue Burning

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Collecting samples of wheat residue burning in Lumbini.
Photo: Sujan Shrestha/ICIMOD

As part of an Atmosphere Initiative research, Manisha Mehra, a research associate at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the 2016 recipient of the Atmosphere Initiative PhD Fellowship, is undertaking an emissions study in Lumbini to analyze the effects of agricultural crop residue burning.

Mehra travelled to Lumbini, in the Terai region of Nepal, to collect samples of emissions resulting from the burning of wheat residue in fields in April 2017. The first round of fieldwork for the study, where samples of emissions from the post-harvest burning of paddy were collected, was conducted in November 2016.

Mehra collected wheat residue samples from the same districts, Kapilvastu and Rupendehi, where she had collected the paddy residue samples in 2016. She explains that the wheat residue, unlike paddy residue, is extensively used as cattle fodder and in paper mills. Therefore, there is less burning of wheat residue than of paddy residue. 

The study is an attempt to differentiate the characteristics of paddy and wheat residue burning emissions. The experimental setup was exactly the same for both wheat and paddy residue burning campaigns.

Details about Mehra’s study and her previous fieldwork are available here.