Agri Business

Kharif conference to be held on April 16, says Tomar

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 09, 2020 Published on April 09, 2020

Narendra Singh Tomar

Minister reviews, via video conference, steps taken by States for smooth agri and allied activities during lockdown

The Centre has asked the State governments to issue necessary instructions to facilitate selling of produce by farmers at their doorsteps and also to ensure smooth inter-State and intra-State movement of machines used for harvesting and sowing, such as combine harvesters.

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, who held a video conference with State agriculture ministers and other State officials Wednesday evening, also informed them that the kharif national conference will be held on April 16 through video conferencing.

Keeping supply chain going

During the remote meeting, in which his deputy ministers and senior Ministry officials participated, Tomar reviewed the steps being taken by the States to facilitate agriculture and allied activities during the lockdown period.

The Minister also reiterated various exemptions being given to ensure agricultural operations during the ongoing harvesting season and forthcoming kharif sowing. The States were requested to sensitise their field agencies about the steps required to be taken for smooth farming operations, including marketing, as well as to give expeditious permission for movement of staff and labour and goods, machines and materials of agencies engaged in the exempted categories of activities.

The Centre also asked the States to issue authorisation letters to companies and organisations having a nationwide supply chain of essential goods, allowing them to issue regional passes for easy movement of critical staff and workers to maintain their supply chain.

The Home Ministry has already exempted a number of agencies and organisations associated with agriculture from the lockdown, which is in place since March 25. They include mandis operated by APMCs, shops selling seeds and other agri inputs, manufacturing and packaging units of seeds and agri inputs, custom hiring centres dealing with farm machinery, cold storages and warehouses, manufacturing units making food packaging materials and those involved in transportation of essential goods.

During the discussion, various issues relating to harvest procurement, availability of inputs, credit, insurance and inter-State movement of agriculture produce came up. While some of these issues were solved immediately, other issues requiring deliberations were noted with the assurance to the States that they would be looked into and necessary action would be taken in due course.

Published on April 09, 2020

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