Capt Amarinder Singh directs DCs to take all steps for hassle-free harvesting and marketing of wheat
Assures farmers of smooth procurement operations amid covid-19 and curfew restrictions
Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday directed the Deputy Commissioners to take all necessary steps to ensure hassle-free harvesting and marketing of wheat, amid the continuing COVID-19 and curfew restrictions in place in the state.
During a review Video Conference, the Chief Minister asked the DCs to ensure micro level planning to ensure seamless farm operations and maintenance of the supply chain of food at the field level. The Chief Minister said a detailed advisory had already been issued by the Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department in this regard.
Elaborate arrangements were being made to harvest and procure every single grain of wheat, Captain Amarinder assured the farmers, while directing the ACS Development Viswajeet Khanna to further ramp up the machinery for the ensuing harvest and marketing of wheat, and other summer field crops apart from the horticulture produce.
During the meeting, DC Ferozepur requested that BSF personnel be provided the 400 PPE kits they had asked for to undertake physical checks of farmers who had land across the fence and were not currently being allowed to go there.
According to the advisory issued by ACS Development on April 2, the DCs have been asked to ensure adequate availability and supply of farm inputs for the sowing season with focus on ensuring free movement of farmers and farm labour for agriculture operation of harvesting and sowing thereafter.
The DCs have also been instructed to ensure free movement of farm operation machinery including tractors, trolleys, combined harvesters, other harvesting machinery and transport vehicles for carrying the farm produce, tilling and sowing implements etc. They have been further asked to permit operations of the farm machinery repair workshops and the related spare parts shops, besides allowing the sale of seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides and their adequate availability.
The DCs have been directed, under the advisory, to keep the marketing yards ready with all necessary arrangements for wheat arrivals besides preparing the procurement agencies for MSP operations.
The DCs have also been asked to take necessary steps for the said task keeping in mind the necessary restrictions relating to the health advisories of distancing, use of face masks, hand-wash etc., and sending a compliance report. It is also requested that wide publicity be given regarding the dos and don'ts, in order to build public confidence.
It may be recalled that on the basis of orders and guidelines issued by the Home Secretary, GoI, in his capacity of the Chairman of National Executive Committee of the National Disaster Management on March 25, 2020, the State Chief Secretary has already been directed to grant certain relaxations to the farming and allied sectors during the lockdown to maintain the supply chain.