Govt Exempts Procurement Agencies, Farm Workers From Lockdown Rule
Fertiliser shops and custom hiring centres of farm machineries have also been allowed to function during lockdown.
Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Saturday, 28 March, said farming operations and related activities have been exempted from the lockdown rules for smooth harvesting of rabi crops and to ensure food security in the country.
"At this critical time, the exemptions have been given for agriculture related activities to ensure enough food supply to the people after the lockdown. It is also done to ensure ordinary citizens and farmers do not face problems," Tomar said in a statement.
The Centre on Friday, exempted mandis, procurement agencies, farm operations, agri machinery hiring centres as well as intra- and inter-state movement of farm implements from the lockdown rules.
The government has also exempted farm workers as well as manufacturing and packaging units of fertilisers, pesticides and seeds from the lockdown order, according to the latest directive issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Fertiliser shops and custom hiring centres of farm machineries have also been allowed to function during the lockdown period, it said.
“Agencies engaged in procurement of agriculture products, including minimum support price (MSP) operations, mandis operated by APMC or as notified by the state government have been exempted,” the statement added.
The directive comes in the wake of farmers facing problems in harvesting their rabi crops and bringing them to the mandis in the wake of a nationwide lockdown to contain spread of coronavirus.
Harvesting of rabi (winter) crops such as wheat, mustard, corn and pulses has begun in some places and will pick up in the coming months.
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