Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Monday said his government has started work to increase production in primary sectors like agriculture, horticulture, poultry and dairy farming to deal with losses suffered due to the lockdown.
He said Tripura usually earns around Rs 1,500 crore per annum from the rubber productions, which suffered losses of Rs 250 crore due to the lockdown imposed to control the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
Deb said poultry, fisheries, animal husbandry, dairy, agriculture, horticulture and floriculture could generate early income with less investment and may be focused to increase primary sector productivity
” … considering the present situation, the deadline set by our government for achieving self-sufficiency in primary sectors has been reduced by 1-2 years so that the economy which suffered a lot due to COVID-19 pandemic can be balanced if production could be increased in primary sectors,” a government press statement quoting the chief minister said on Monday.
Deb said his government is considering providing subsidized loans under various government schemes in primary sectors.
“Closure of rubber industries in some states due to lockdown might be the reason for Rs 250 crore losses. So the government has decided to boost the primary sectors as an alternative to increase the revenue,” he added.
“A good number of people, especially from indigenous communities, are involved in fisheries sector for livelihood.
Fish seeds are produced in Tripura. Andhra Pradesh procures fish seeds of Rs 150 crore from West Bengal. If Tripura can meet the demand then the state will earn the same amount and the income of fish cultivators will increase substantially.” Deb said.
He said his government is already in touch with Andhra Pradesh on the issue and urged everyone associated with fishery sector to work hard so that Tripura can supply fish seeds to Andhra Pradesh.
Deb said Tripura produces plenty of fruits like jackfruit, pineapple and oranges, adding that his government is contemplating to apply “one district, one fruit or one crop” formula up to block level to increase productivity three times.
Deb also stressed on increasing dairy, agriculture production and output in other primary sectors to achieve self sufficiency.
The chief minister also appealed to people to strictly maintain social distancing everywhere in the state.
He said, single shops and rural markets could open by maintaining the social distancing norms but urged market committees to follow the norms and guidelines.
Deb said his government has planned to engage volunteers for thermal screening of visitors in the markets.