Coronavirus: Govt issues guidelines for farmers

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JAMMU: The Jammu and Kashmir government is bringing in far-reaching measures to minimize the economic fallout of Covid -19 pandemic on Agriculture and allied sectors.

As part of these measures, the government has issued detailed guidelines for the elimination of intermediary brokers and ease down certain other problems faced by the farmers.

The decongestion of major fruit and vegetable Mandies across Jammu & Kashmir and timely marketing of Agricultural and Horticultural produce are other crucial areas of the government’s focus.

The Agriculture Production Department, in view of COVID-19 situation, has allowed Deputy Commissioners to notify the places in their respective jurisdictions, where farmers can bring their produce for marketing without any intermediary interference.

The guidelines said that collection or aggregation centre in the proximity of production areas may be set up by a person after getting it registered by the concerned Market Administrative Committees.  The person will have to comply with a set of guidelines, particularly refraining from any kind of hoarding, under the Essential Commodities Act.

All the Market Administrative Committees of the UT have been asked to allow and facilitate the functioning of such Collection and Sale Centres without any hindrance.

Similarly, the principal agriculture product of the UT, Jammu, Basmati rice has been certified as Safe for Pesticides Residual Limits by Quality Control & Quality Assurance Division of Indian Institute Of Integrative e-Medicine (CSIR). The CSIR collected 184 samples of Basmati Rice from Basmati growers of Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts and confirmed the purity of prestigious Jammu Basmati Rice.

A report issued by IIIM in this regard will be shared with Agriculture and Processed Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) and other relevant forums for promoting and popularizing the Jammu Basmati and further removing the bottlenecks in trouble-free export of Basmati-370.

In another major move to reduce Covid-19 pandemic distress among the farmers, JK Industries is going to procure 60,000 Kg of Grade A and B grade Cocoon from Jammu division and 50,000 kg from Kashmir division.

Meanwhile, concerted efforts are underway to develop horticulture and related activities in Jammu region by way of several ongoing government interventions.

The potential taping High Density and Ultra High Density plantation for Apple, Kiwi, Peach, Grapes and Walnut is main focus of the government. These fruits have huge potential in hilly areas like Kishtwar, Doda, Poonch, Rajouri and hilly areas of Udhampur, Reasi, Ramban and Kathua.

The services of Centre for Excellence for Horticulture are being utilized to promote the fruit growing in all types of regions of Jammu division.

Upgrading of the infrastructure of Fruit and Vegetable Market, for developing it on modern lines replete with all the necessary facilities has been prioritized.

The State Level Project Screening Committee (SLPSC) on Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY-RAFTAR), has recently approved the Annual Action Plan envisaging mobilization of Farmers Producer Organizations (FPOs) and promotion of local specialty crops, value addition, organic farming, farm mechanization and promoting agri-business entrepreneurship. Aadhar seeding and 100% assistance transfer through DBT for all beneficiary oriented schemes has also been stressed upon.

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