The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has recommended making Vine, tomato puree and value-added products to avoid losses to farmers as the lockdown has led to loss of agricultural products. In view of the various restrictions imposed during the lockdown, the ICAR has issued state-wise guidelines for agriculture telling farmers the ways to preserve perishable agricultural products. In this, farmers have been suggested to make value-added products like vine, jam, jelly, squash, pickle, tomato puree and mushroom.
In the guidelines issued for the farmers of Meghalaya, it has been said that the farmers who grow strawberries should make value-added products in case of difficulty in selling it. Farmers can also make vine, jam, jelly and squash from strawberries. In this situation, arrangements have been made to provide maize seeds and some fertilizer at home to the farmers. On the other hand, if the farmers of Tripura have difficulty in selling tomatoes, it has been suggested to store them in a zero energy cold chamber or make tomato puree that can be easily sold and don’t get destroyed so fast.
Fishing farmers are advised to :
Farmers rearing fish in the state have been asked to make fish fodder from mustard khal or rice at home. Officers related to research and development have been directed to make necessary arrangements for animal birds. Meat, fish, fruit and vegetable shops will remain open during the lockdown in the North Eastern states and their transportation will continue. Most of the people of this region are non-vegetarians, due to which this arrangement has been made.
Mushroom farmers are advised to :
The ICAR has advised the mushroom farmers in Nagaland that if their mushrooms are not sold, they should dry it in the sunlight. However, if this facility is not available, then they have been asked to dry it on the stove with the moisture content not exceeding five to six percent. Piggery farmers have been advised to prepare their fodder from maize.
Farmers of these states get exemption in lockdown
Vehicles carrying essential commodities in Mizoram are exempted from lockdown. Along with this, people have also been given freedom to bring fodder for animals from the forest. In Manipur, shops for fish, food, fruits and vegetables have been allowed to be kept open. Online supply of vegetables will be continued in this state. In Assam, if potato, tomato and chilli are not sold, it has been suggested to store them in cold temperature. In Arunachal Pradesh, potatoes have been advised to be kept in an airy structure made of bamboo. It is said in the agricultural guidelines that this is the appropriate time for jhum farming.
Compulsory service of agricultural work in West Bengal
In West Bengal, with the exclusion of agricultural work from lockdown, the activities of the forest sector has also been considered as compulsory service. Road transport of essential food items will not be prohibited. Cold storage and warehousing services will continue. People connected with the activities of fish, fish seed and fish products will have the convenience of movement without interruption. Officers in this state have also been instructed to speed up the work of fisheries production. In Uttarakhand, beekeeping workers and its transport vehicles have been given some relief from lockdown.