Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Baseer Ahmad Khan on Monday said that government is taking various measure for the resumption of agriculture and horticulture-related activities restricted as part of the nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The Advisor said this during a meeting, he chaired to review preparedness for the resumption of agriculture-related activities in Kashmir Division.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Pandurang K. Pole, Director Agriculture, Kashmir, Director Horticulture, Kashmir, Director Floriculture, Director Horticulture Planning & Management, Director Sericulture, Director, Industries & Commerce, besides representatives of various Associations including Fruit Growers Association, Saffron Growers Association, Fertilizer Distributors Association, Pesticide Dealers Association and Dry Fruit Growers Association were present in the meeting.
The Advisor said that measures are being taken to ensure timely spray of required pesticides and fertilizer distribution besides resumption of other farming activities so that rural, agriculture and horticulture economy will not suffer during the lockdown. He asked the stakeholders to spread awareness among the farming community about observing social distancing and other norms to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
He directed the concerned to utilize the potent media tools like social media, print and electronic media to spread awareness messages regarding the importance of social distancing and adherence of guidelines and advisories related to the prevention of the COVID-19.
The Advisor directed the concerned to submit a list of distributors and dealers dealing with fertilizers and pesticides to the concerned Deputy Commissioner’s office so that their movement passes will be issued besides supervising and ensuring farming activities are taking place under the norms to prevent speared of Covid-19.
He said that Zonal Agriculture Officers will provide the list of movement passes required for resuming farming activities in their respective jurisdictions and directed the concerned for nominating an officer who will supervise farming activities at Sub-zonal level to ensure that there is no violation of norms in the field.
The Advisor directed deploying medical assistance teams who will physically verify the people being issues movement passes for farming activities.
The Director Agriculture Kashmir informed that the department is taking measure and precautions under the COVID-19 prevention norms. He informed that it is time for maize and paddy plantation and the department is taking various measure to generate awareness among farming community regarding the pandemic.
The Director Horticulture informed the Advisor that targeted 150 hectares High Density Plantation is in process and pesticides and fertilizers dealers are being allowed for 2 hours to provide support to the framers in non COVID-19 Red Zones. The Advisor directed monitoring the activities to ensure that government advisory is followed in letter and spirit.
Speaking on the occasion, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir asked the Director Horticulture to generate awareness among the farming community about precautions and preventions and the need to avoid the spread of COVID-19 among farming community.
The Director Industries and Commerce were directed to draw a complete movement plan of industrial activities and submit the same to the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir’s office so that health and safety of unit holders and inhouse labourers is assured.
The Advisor directed the concerned for conduction regular health checkup of the inhouse labourers, besides ensuring that Standard Operating Procures (SOP) are followed by the unit holders.
The meeting also discussed various issues related to the industries including cardboard boxes manufacturing and import of essential industrial raw material, besides floriculture nurseries and cut flower production.
During the meeting representative of various associations apprised the Advisor about various issues and demanded hassle-free movement and timely unloading of fruit carrying trucks outside the Valley.
The Advisor directed that each Deputy Commissioner shall open movement pass counter in their respective offices to ensure the hassle-free movement of fruit carrying truck, besides carrying out farming activities under the COVID-19 norms.