Initiatives by Union Agriculture Department During COVID Pandemic

As we knew that last year covid pandemic has effected everyone including the farming community. In spite of all this the agriculture was the only sector which has positively contributed to the Indian GDP. The Union Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has undertaken many initiatives during the pandemic situation which helped the farmers and other stakeholders across the country  in many ways starting from credit facilities, provision of seed materials, marketing of the produce etc. In this blog let’s look at the some of the important Initiatives taken by different divisions

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  • Farmers Welfare: In order to help the farm families under PM –KISAN scheme Rs.40, 466 crores has been distributed to the beneficiary farmers during the pandemic period.
  • Agricultural Marketing: Efforts were made to facilitate direct marketing of produce from farmers/ FPOs/Cooperatives by limiting regulations of marketing rules under State APMC act. KISAN RATH app was launched for the farmers and traders to facilitate easy transportation of agricultural and horticultural produce.
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  • Agricultural Credit: During lockdown period Rs.5,326.7 crore  under PMFBY scheme was released and the remaining claimed amount was also settled in phased manner.
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  • Crops and Oilseeds: Both the central and state governments ensured that there was minimal or no disruption to harvesting of Rabi crops and sowing of summer crops.
  • Horticulture: In collaboration with Ministry of Railways on selected routes special parcel trains were arranged for smooth supply of essential commodities and perishable agriculture products and inputs across the country during pandemic period
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  •  Seeds: Around 153 lakh tones of seeds were made available to the farmers for kharif 2020 season
  • Organic farming: farmers were encouraged to use app for sale of organic products to consumer online through this app.
  • Agricultural Machineries and Mechanization:  As we know labour scarcity was there in many parts of country. Farmers were encouraged for mechanical options for farm operations. In order to help the farmers Custom Hiring Centers (CHC) were made operationalized during pandemic period.
  • North Eastern States especially Assam was encouraged to complete the planting activity of selected species of bamboo during the monsoon season in order to ensure availability of raw materials for manufacturing units in the next 3-4 years.  
  • Under Per Drop More Crop component of PMKSY the online registration of farmers well in advance for the installation of micro irrigation systems for different horticultural and agricultural crops in different states.
  • All India Agri Transport Call Centre was launched in April, 2020 for coordination between states for inter-state movement of perishable fruits and Vegetable and agriculture inputs.
  • GOI under AtmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan has allocated 1 lakh crore for establishment of agriculture infrastructure projects at farm gates and at aggregation points. To create post-harvest infrastructure to avoid wastage of crop produce.
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  • There was regular monitoring by department of fertilizers on movement of fertilizers to the states from ports and production units to ensure smooth supply of fertilizers through involvement in WhatsApp groups and Videoconferences.
  • Several exemptions were made for the smooth running of the food supply chain operation, from farm to fork. So that there will not be any shortage on the food front and for farmers there should not be any difficulty in selling their produce.
                           All of these initiatives were mentioned on paper in Annual Report: 2020-21 of    Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers welfare, GOI. On the other hand we don’t know in reality to what extent these initiatives have made the impact on farmer. Farmer’s will power along with the government initiatives were the reason for positive contribution of agriculture sector to the national income.

(Content Source : Annual Report 2020-21 : Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers welfare. GOI) 

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