After harvesting paddy, the farmers resort to burn its straw because the window of time for sowing the following crop is short and also burning is the least expensive proposition. This has an adverse impact on environment and human health. The Commission has set up a Challenge Fund to find an appropriate technology to solve this problem.


The challenge is open worldwide to everyone including individuals, organizations, research institutions and companies etc.


The grand prize will be awarded for the entry which successfully demonstrates to:

  1. ensure in-situ decomposition/degradation of surface-retained paddy straw within 20 days of harvesting by combine harvester under ambient Punjab conditions so as to enable unhindered sowing of following crop.
  2. have no negative impact on soil, crop productivity and human health i.e. is safe for the crop and the environment in the short and long term.
  3. be applicable to the currently recommended varieties of paddy in this State with a minimum straw load of 6-7 tons/ha.
  4. have a favorable cost to benefit ratio.


  1. The product shall be submitted to the Director Research, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Punjab, India in sufficient quantity along with detailed protocol of the technology to facilitate independent evaluation of the technology. If required the applicant will have to provide more quantity for test and evaluation.
  2. If the product is based on microbial culture(s), the type(s) of microbe (Bacterial/fungal/actinomycete) should be specified. The accession number should be provided prior to the start of the study.
  3. The preliminary data generated by the applicant and the scale at which the technology has been evaluated shall be submitted along with the proposal.
  4. The claim of the applicant will be evaluated by an Expert Committee constituted by Punjab State Farmers’ and Farm Workers’ Commission on the basis of 2 years of experimentation.
  5. Amongst the technologies meeting the target of decomposition in less than 20 days, safety and efficiency (in the order of priority) will be employed for further ranking.
  6. Further clarifications and information sought from the applicants shall be provided promptly.
  7. Genetically engineered/modified interventions will not be considered.
  8. The Punjab State Farmers’ and Farm Workers’ Commission reserves the right to withdraw the “challenge” by giving a notice of one year.
  9. The decision of the Punjab State Farmers’ and Farm Workers’ Commission shall be final.


  1. Proposals are to be submitted to the Chairman, Punjab State Farmers’ and Farm Workers’ Commission, Punjab, India.
  2. The application fee for participation in the challenge is US$ 2000 per entry.
  3. The bank account details for deposit of application fee are given below:

    Name of Bank and Branch: Bank of Baroda, PAU, Ludhiana
    Account No: 29380100015811
    Account Holder: Comptroller PAU/Paddy Straw Challenge Fund
    MICR code: 141012008
    SWIFT Code:

  4. Proposals should include the following information:
    1. Name and designation of applicants/ team members
    2. Correspondence Address along with contact details and Email address
    3. Details of application fee
    4. Details of products/product submitted for evaluation, its quantity
    5. Protocol for use of product
    6. No-objection certificate from the Institution/ Research Organization/Firm
    7. Any other supporting document or information.

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