TODAY -

Farmers ring food crisis worry bell
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, April 15 2020: Anticipating severe impact on agriculture sector and State's economy due to COVID-19, the All Manipur Progressive Farmers Association has submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister suggesting necessary actions to mitigate a major food crisis that is looming large.

With scanty rainfall and restrictions imposed due to lockdown, the farmers are not able to carry out their works in the field.

And large portion of their produces have perished as they are unable to find designated market places to sell the produces.

As the farmers have invested heavily after borrowing or availing loan, majority of them may soon incur huge losses and debts as they couldn't sell their produces during the lockdown, said the association highlighting the difficulties the farmers are facing as COVID-19 pandemic forced Governments to shut down all activities except essential services.

Lauding the Government for the efforts being put into to fight coronavirus outbreak, AMPFA acknowledged that the complete lockdown being imposed is necessary even though it is driving people through many hardships.

Even as the lockdown is aimed to contain the virus outbreak, the Government should also anticipate severe fallout from the global emergency and take precautionary measures to avoid economic and social crises that are looming large, said the association.

To ensure smooth supply chain, Government should take up initiatives to purchase the products of the farmers for further sale or distribution to the people and others concerned, it said appealing Government to allow the farmers to work in the field.

High Yielding Variety (HYV) seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides etc should be made available directly to the farmers.

Irrigation systems should be renovated, water pump sets, tractors and required fuel must be made available at ease, the association said appealing Government to depute experts and officials of the Agriculture and other departments concerned to guide the farmers directly in the field.

Urging authorities concerned to allow the farmers to hire Government machinery and equipment for utilizing in the field, AMPFA also appealed Government to freeze loan interest and capital for April, May and June 2020.AMPFA in its memorandum also urged Government to install/construct cold storage facilities at block, district and State level for storing perishable farm produces/items.

Long term plans and policy should be formulated to reduce dependency on other States, it said.

It may be noted that as the lockdown has been extended to May 3, the Centre has allowed all agricultural and horticultural activities without restriction in the areas where coronavirus cases have not been reported.

The guidelines allow foodgrain procurement agencies to procure agricultural products from farmers.


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