NEW DELHI: With the ongoing lockdown wreaking havoc on the farmers, the Centre is preparing a basket of proposals to reach out to them, including offering compensation, measures for 100 per cent procurement, an App to help cultivators sell to consumers, and intervention to prevent onion prices from shooting up.
“Farmers, particularly those who grow fruits, vegetables and flowers, have been affected due to the lockdown. The Centre has issued directives for implementation of the market intervention scheme to bear 50 per cent of the loss equally between the Centre and the states,” said Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar on Friday.
All states, he said, have been asked to set up eight times more procurement centres. “Lockdown has not affected harvesting, with 80 per cent wheat and 100 per cent pulses and oilseeds crops harvested so far. Procurement through FCI and NAFED will be staggered,” said Tomar.
With just over 1,600 mandis (agricultural markets) operating out of over 5,000, horticulture and floriculture have been badly hit.Tomar said arrangements are being made for transporting onions to various places to ensure there is no artificial price rise. Also, there’s no delay in harvesting. Measures are being taken for timely sowing of Kharif crops. “An app developed by the Ministry of Agriculture will be unveiled in a couple of days to link farmers with consumers,” he added.