April 10, 2020 9:00:11 pm
Five days before it begins first phase of mustard procurement, the Haryana government Friday said that only 50 farmers will be allowed in one mandi at a time to ensure social distancing. The government also released a detailed plan for farmers who will be bringing their harvest to nearly 2,000 mandis identified for procurement across state.
“The rabi procurement season (wheat, mustard and gram) 2020-2021 will commence from April 15 and will continue till June 30. The farmers will be allowed to visit mandis in two time slots — from 8 am to 2 pm and from 2:30pm to 6pm,” an agriculture and farmers’ welfare department spokesperson said.
Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board too issued instructions to ensure safety of all stakeholders.
“To reduce congestion in mandis, procurement of wheat will be regulated and start from April 20 while that of mustard and gram will begin from April 15. To regulate and stagger the procurement, the market committee will ensure that all the agricultural produce enters the mandi only with an e-gate pass. The passes will be issued only to the registered and verified farmers on ‘Meri Fasal Mera Byora’ portal”, the spokesperson added.
Farmers who are not yet registered can apply for registration upto April 19. “The produce of farmers from outside the state will not be purchased till further instructions,” the spokesperson said
“All stakeholders in the procurement operations must work in tandem to ensure that guidelines and instructions issued from time to time are strictly followed,” the spokesperson added.
The Opposition leaders in Haryana, meanwhile, said that it was likely that there will be chaos once the procurement begins.
Indian National Lok Dal leader Abhay Chautala said that each and every grain of farmer should be procured and warned that If the government “fails to protect farmers, the entire country will collapse”.
“Although the government is making claims of increasing the number mandis, but you will see that the day procurement begins, there will be utter chaos. Bori uthaane vaala nahi milega, bori bharne vaala nahi milega, aur boriyan bhi nahi milegi. Kehne mein aur karne mein bahut antar hai. (There won’t be anyone to fill the gunny bags with the produce and lift it. In fact, they won;t even get gunny bags). On one hand they say, teachers will do procurement, then they say agriculture department will do it, then they say panchayati raj department will do it, then they say PWD’s junior engineers will be deployed, then they say patwaris will be deployed. Now they are asking farmers to donate,” Chautala said.
Seniot Congress leader and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said that in the larger interest of people, the Congress has assured full support to the state government. “These are not normal circumstances and hence, in such a situation, the government must also buy the crops of those who have not been able to register themselves on the government portal. I have urged farmers to help each other in harvesting. There will be a shortage of labour and resources because of the COVID-19 outbreak and the lockdown, “ said Hooda.
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