Agriculture World

Good News for Tamil Nadu Farmers: Norms Relaxed for Agriculture Activities & Transport of Essentials

Tooba Maher
Tooba Maher

After almost 6 days of the State-wide lockdown, the Tamil Nadu government has relaxed curfew to carry out agriculture-related works & transportation of essential goods. This step will facilitate resumption of work for more than 50 lakh people in both the organized & unorganised agricultural sectors and also its allied industries, as per sources.

Besides continuous pleas from farmers association, traders and political parties, food grain manufacturers the government was compelled to relax the norms to procure rice and essential commodities to distribute by fair price shops, as per highly placed sources.

Some relaxations are as follows:

  1. The permitted agricultural activities are procurement of agricultural products by agencies.

  2. Wholesale stores & rice mills, operated by the district-level agricultural produce market committees.

  3. Farming operations by farmers & farm workers in the field is allowed.

  4. Custom hiring centres for hiring agricultural machinery and fertilizers, pesticides and seeds manufacturing companies and packing units has been permitted.

  5. Adding to it, intra-State & inter-State transportation of harvesting machines and horticultural equipment is also been allowed, as per an order issued by Chief Secretary K Shanmugam.

PR Pandian, president, Tamil Nadu All Farmers’ Associations’ Coordination Committee said, “Given that Centre has not declared any relief to farmers during lockdown period, we welcome the government’s decision to allow all farming-related works. We will commence plantation of seedlings for ‘summer’ paddy crop.”

He added, “Now at least 50 lakh farm labourers will able to return to work and it will provide temporary relief to their families who are deprived of wages for the past one week. He also urged the Centre to consider operating trains for transporting fruits and vegetables among the southern States. “

According to the official sources, the workers who are engaged in farming activities and other jobs have to comply with the government’s precautionary measures. They have to obtain a pass from competent authority. The government also allowed transportation of rice, pulses, wheat and other food items from wholesale shops to retail shops. Goods unloading at retail shops are permitted between 6 am and 10 am, and at wholesale shops between 11 pm and 5 am.

“Around one lakh workers, such as truck drivers, loading and unloading men, will get the job now. Adequate police should be deployed for the first few days,” said SP Jayaprakasam, State president, Tamil Nadu Food Grainers Merchants Association.

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