Advisor to Lt. Governor, K. K. Sharma, on Thursday participated in a meeting chaired by Union Agriculture Minister, Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Ministers of State Agriculture Parshottam Rupala and Kailash Choudhary, Secretary (DAC&FW) Sanjay Agarwal through video conferencing to discuss the state of affairs in Agriculture and its allied sectors in view of prevailing sitiuation due to Covid-19 pandemic.
The Agriculture Ministers, Secretaries, Agriculture Department of different states also attended the meeting from their respective states while Principal Secretary Agriculture, Navin Choudhary, Directors Agriculture and Horticulture Jammu and Kashmir also participated through video conferencing.
The issues related to farming operations, agriculture marketing and Mandi Operations, Procurement, Provision of Inputs and Logistics besides Movement of Agriculture and Horticulture Produce were discussed in detail during the meeting.
The Union Minister apprised that continuation of Agri operations is priority of the government and accordingly necessary advisories have been issued from time to time in this regard. The necessity of social distancing while undergoing the agri operations especially in Markets and Mandis was also emphasised.
The details of exemptions granted by the Government for smooth agricultural operations were also reiterated. Besides various relief measures undertaken by the government in favour of farmers were also intimated which inter alia included relief package under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, extention in repayment of crop loans, sanction for procurement of Gram & Masoor and Mustard, Advisory to facilitate direct buying from farmers etc.
Advisor Sharma, while conveying steps being taken up by the J&K Government in the Agriculture and Horticulture sector, informed about the best practices being adopted even at village level. He also intimated about the distribution of masks among the farmers and rural population.
”India is a large country with huge rural population and we need to encourage usage of masks while undertaking farming activities to contain the spread of Corona virus”, the Advisor asserted. He intimated that the Union Territory of J&K has no shortage of seeds, fertilizers etc even in this difficult time.
Advisor informed that J&K has already issued necessary advisories for free movement of agricultural inputs and its machinery. He also apprised that the prices of vegetables and food items are also being put on marketing information system for general awareness.