Comparison of green and burnt sugarcane harvesting methods and Environmental Impacts of Burning Farms on Sugarcane Harvesting in Khuzestan Province

Document Type : Research Paper


Assistant professor, Biosystems engineering Dept., Faculty of Agriculture, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran


Sugarcane burning is a process that is done before the cane harvest to facilitate harvesting or after green harvesting to remove residual plant residues in the field. The purpose of the present study was to compare the methods of green and burnt sugarcane harvesting and to investigate the environmental effects of burning of sugarcane fields on sugarcane harvesting in Khuzestan province. Hierarchical analysis was used to investigate green and burnt sugarcane harvesting methods. In order to determine the criteria, after interviewing the experts on sugarcane harvesting at the Sugarcane and by Products Development Company, the probable criteria affecting the sugarcane harvesting were identified and divided into four groups: amount of trashes sent to the factory, amount of waste at harvest, environmental pollution and residue management in irrigation and rationing operations. To weight the criteria, a questionnaire was completed by 31 experts in the field of sugarcane development and ancillary industries in the year 1398 and used for analysis by Expert Choice 11.0 software. Also using SWOT-AHP integrated approach was identified and classified strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of green and burnt sugarcane. Results of evaluation of internal and external factors matrices showed that the average weight of internal and external factors were 3.181 and 2.693, respectively. There is an important threat. The results also showed that among the current methods of green and burnt sugarcane harvesting, considering the current facilities and equipment of the sugarcane development and ancillary industries, the burning method with a relative weight of 0.634 is preferred. Also, the results of carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of sugarcane farms by the sugar cane development and ancillary industries showed that the amount of greenhouse gas emissions is 1641780000 kg for one crop season. Finally, according to the results of the present study and the conducted studies, green harvesting is the only solution for reducing environmental pollutants in sugarcane production industry in Khuzestan province. But since green harvesting requires comprehensive management to be implemented, at present, the management of smoke and ash from the burning of sugar cane fields is permitted under the recommended weather conditions to mitigate adverse effects on the environment and public health.


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