Monday, 30th October 2017

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Atul Bora concern for farmers

He said the department has worked out a Rs 4.7-crore scheme to help farmers buy vegetable seeds

By A Staff Reporter in Guwahati
  • Published 7.04.20, 12:03 AM
  • Updated 7.04.20, 12:03 AM
  • 2 mins read
Atul Bora The Telegraph file picture

Assam agriculture minister Atul Bora on Monday said he was pained by the losses faced by farmers during the lockdown and that the department was working on how to compensate this.

“I will raise the issue of plight of the farmers in the council of ministers meeting on Tuesday. I have conveyed the issue to the chief minister and the finance minister,” he added.

Bora said the department has constituted a committee with its commissioner and secretary as its chairman to monitor how the farmers are affected by the 21-day lockdown imposed by the Centre to check spread of novel coronavirus.

Bora said rumours like mischievous people trying to spread coronavirus through vegetables have adversely affected the farmers as people are reluctant to buy vegetables now. “I contacted the deputy commissioners on Sunday about the suffering of the farmers and how to help

them out. I was informed that there was a panicky situation on the ground level and that people are not willing to buy vegetables brought from other districts. For example, the deputy commissioner of Jorhat informed me that he was requested by people not to bring vegetables from Golaghat where eight Covid-19 positive patients have been detected,” Bora said.

Bora said the poultry farmers are one of the worst hit by the lockdown. He expressed his inability to do anything, saying that the state government is taking extra caution by imposing more restrictions to implement the lockdown.

Bora said the department has worked out a Rs 4.7-crore scheme to help farmers buy vegetable seeds. He said if farming was not continued, the state would face problems in the days to come.

The minister said the department would launch a call centre to give all farming-related information to farmers between 6am to 6pm. He said the number of the call centre would be made available by Tuesday.

Bora said the consumption of vegetables in the state, including potato, is 9.56 lakh MT a year against the production of 66 lakh MT. “During this lockdown the estimated loss is 3,571 MT,” he said adding that loss was unavoidable at this situation.

Bora said as of now there is no shortfall in the supply of eggs and milk and he will request the chief minister and finance minister so that meat supply can be started. He said the owners of the hatcheries have been forced to kill newly-hatched chicks as they were unable to deliver them to the farmers.