In Punjab, Pakistan, severe air pollution, mainly due to agriculture practices like rice stubble burning, reduces life expectancy by 3-5 years (AQLI, 2021). A partnership with the Agriculture Department of Punjab (ADP) aims to assess interventions to curb burning. ADP provides subsidies for equipment to incorporate stubble into the soil instead of burning it. The project collects pilot evidence on equipment adoption, burning reduction, and crop yield impact.
Results will help evaluate the equipment's private and social benefits and develop complementary measures. The study also addresses challenges in measuring burning accurately, given short-lived visual signs, small fields, and constant monitoring needed. The research involves using locally designed, cost-effective sensors for soil and air parameters, along with soil sampling, to enhance measurement accuracy.
This research project aims to improve measurement accuracy to catalyse policy innovations such as conditional payments for not burning or equipment use subsidies.