Rice is the most important Kharif crop of Punjab. With the increase in production of rice there is concomitant increase in the production of residue (rice straw), which is approximately 18.75 MT. About 80 percent of the rice residue it burnt in the fields, particularly after harvesting rice by combine harvesters.

Yields from the rice-wheat cropping system in the Indo-Gangetic plain are declining despite the increasing use of chemical fertilizers. Crop residues are important components of soil fertility management, but are burnt in some areas such as Punjab state.