In recent times, you would have seen some politicians using sofa-fitted tractors to instigate farmers. You may have then seen how tractor meant for wealth creation on farms were weaponised by people who claim to be farmer to bring destruction of public properties in Delhi, smashing the barricades and creating a law-and-order problem.
But here is an event that actually does justice to the image of tractor, the instrument which is so central to modern-day farming.
On February 10, India launched the first-ever CNG tractor. This tractor that runs on Compressed Natural Gas is estimated to save ₹1 lakh annually on fuel costs to farmers.
CNG tractor is one innovation that comes with many benefits. It saves cost for farmers; environment friendly since it is less-pollutant; it augurs well for the government’s goal of less carbon emissions in the backdrop of global climate change concerns; it also becomes a factor in steering India towards a gas-based economy; Since there is scope for bio-CNG from agriculture residue, it also tries to address the stubble issue in the long run.
Agricultural residue is used as a feedstock to produce bio-CNG. Tractors driven on CNG will significantly reduce pollution and also help in boosting income of farmers as they will further be encouraged to sell their agricultural residue to bio-CNG units near them. pic.twitter.com/IVYQBdNSmo
— Dharmendra Pradhan (@dpradhanbjp) February 12, 2021
देश की पहली 'CNG Tractor' को केंद्रीय पेट्रोलियम मंत्री श्री @dpradhanbjp जी, केंद्रीय राज्यमंत्री @Gen_VKSingh जी और केन्द्रीय राज्यमंत्री श्री @PRupala जी की उपस्थिति में लॉन्च किया। pic.twitter.com/M5JXztrARJ
— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) February 12, 2021
Here are the advantages of CNG tractor.
- It is a Clean Fuel as it has the lowest content of carbon and other pollutants.
- It is Economical as it has zero lead and is non-corrosive, non-dilutive and non-contaminating which helps in increasing the life of the engine and it requires less regular maintenance.
- It is Cheaper as CNG prices are far more consistent than fluctuating Petrol prices; also, the average mileage of CNG vehicles is better than that of Diesel/Petrol driven vehicles.
- It is Safer as CNG tanks come with a tight seal, which reduces the possibility of explosion while refueling or in the event of a spill.
- It is the Future as at present around 12 million vehicles are already powered by natural gas throughout the world and more companies & municipalities are joining the CNG movement every day.
- It is part of Waste to Wealth as stubble (Parali) can be used as a raw material for producing Bio-CNG which will help the farmers to earn money by selling it to the Bio-CNG production units in their locality
The Way Ahead
While taking part in the programme of launching India’s first CNG tractor, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan shed light on the larger picture that the government is working on related to energy consumption.
Pradhan said that India’s energy consumption is going to increase, and renewable energy sources will play an important role going forward. PNG and CNG supply will reach the 85-90 percent of the population in a few years. An alternative energy model based on clean sources is developing, and this will help in meeting the country’s commitment to COP 21 for reduction in pollution. 5,000 CBG (Compressed Bio Gas) plants will be set up under the SATAT programme. There is an estimate that about 600 million metric tonnes of biomass from farms, forests and cities is available. Conversion of the waste to wealth will not only empower the farmers by providing additional income to them, but also help in reducing pollution, improving health outcomes and making the cities clean. A decision will be taken soon for allowing the retail outlets to sell the CBG. 8.5% ethanol blending in petrol has also been achieved, and soon India will be the world leader in ethanol blending.
For further information, you may want to read our earlier articles: