LUCKNOW: With the harvesting of rabi crop in full swing in the state and 30-40% wheat ready to be sold in the market, the Uttar Pradesh government is making arrangements to facilitate its purchase from the fields and doorsteps of farmers for the first time.
Moreover, the government has announced that wheat procurement at the minimum support price (MSP) would commence from April 15.
The decision was taken at a high-level meeting presided over by CM Yogi Adityanath in the presence of Agriculture Minister Surya Pratap Shahi and Principal Secretary, Agriculture, Devesh Chaturvedi.
Additional Chief Secretary Awanish Awasthi said the CM issued directives to take special steps to facilitate purchasing of crops by strengthening the Mandi system while maintaining social distancing from April 15.
The rules of Mandis and the agriculture department would be amended to ensure purchase from fields and doorsteps of farmers, said Chaturvedi. Instructions were also issued to the respective district authorities to assist farmers in selling the crop to food procurement agencies and Mandis.
As per the arrangements, flour mills would also be allowed to procure wheat from farmers' fields directly and for this necessary changes in rules would be made. The announcement came close on the heels of the agriculture department issuing an order that food production organisations and companies (FPOs and FPCs), which farmers are also members of, be allowed to sell their produce directly to consumers.
The order issued by Chaturvedi said FPOs and FPCs will be granted permission to market their produce through doorstep delivery or mobile phone mechanism.
“This will allow farmers to market their produce from their fields to the consumers at a fair price. This will also help in ensuring social distancing at Mandis allowing better enforcement of lockdown by reducing crowds,” Chaturvedi said.