This project aimed to accelerate the adoption of Zero-Till seed drills (including the Happy Seeder) to reduce crop residue burning and boost sustainable food energy water security.
Stubble burning, combined with the traditional practice of tillage prior to crop establishment has a detrimental impact on soil health and quality. The development of Conservation Agriculture (CA) practices, characterised by the direct sowing of crop into standing (retained) stubble, is termed Zero-Till and provides a real alternative to traditional farming techniques. The Happy Seeder developed specifically for the intensive rice-wheat cropping system of the Indo-Gangetic Plains (with significant project investment by ACIAR) is presented as the single most viable option for direct sowing of wheat crops into standing rice stubble. As State Governments move towards enforcing a ban of the burning of stubble across India, it is likely that there will be an increased motivation by farmers to adopt the Happy Seeder. However, experience to date has indicated that Happy Seeder adoption has been less than optimal, there is a need to identify how farmer adoption can be accelerated.