All activities associated with farming, such as transportation of seeds and fertiliser, has been fully exempted from the lockdown in Maharashtra. The Regional Transport Offices in every district have been instructed to issue online permits and stickers to vehicles carrying agricultural goods. Officers have been told to ensure that no agricultural operations are interrupted after the imposition of section 144 in the state, said State Agriculture Minister, Dadaji Bhuse, on Thursday in a media statement.
Plans have also been made to ensure that agricultural freight between Mumbai, Pune and Nasik are uninterrupted, the statement said.
Pune and Nasik are the major agricultural goods-producing areas in the state. Nasik is the hub for supplying onions to the whole country while the Mumbai metropolitan region is the largest consumer.
Addressing the concerns of farmers and the citizens on an immediate basis, the minister said that the people should not rush to vegetable and fruit vendors, as there is enough supply in the market. He emphasised that the sale of goods should happen when four or five merchants come together and maintain the social distance between them and the buyers. He requested farmers and traders to sell their goods in different places without crowding the markets.