New Delhi, April 20 (ANI): The government on Monday said that the sown area of summer crops has registered an increase of 36 per cent over the previous year.
“Overcoming lockdown restrictions, sown area of summer crops has increased significantly, registering an increase of 36 per cent over the previous year, pushed up mainly by rice cultivation,” Alpana Sharma, Additional Director General (Media and Communication) in Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare said here. She said that farming operations have been exempted from lockdown, but social distancing measures have to be maintained while doing farming related work.
“Many activities related to agriculture and farming have been exempted from lockdown but social distancing will have to be followed. Various mandis are open across the state but the administration has the responsibility to ensure social distancing in mandis,” Sharma said.
She informed that food grain production has been fixed at an ambitious 298 million tonnes at the recently held Kharif Conference 2020. She said that to help farmers sustain production, money has been disbursed under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Yojana. “The insurance claims have been disbursed under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. Pulses have been dispatched to states under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana,” she added.
Sharma informed that an all India transport call centre – 18001804200 has been recently launched and the Kisan Rath app has been launched to facilitate the smooth transportation of foodgrain and perishable across the states.
“Face masks and sanitisers have been brought under the Essential Commodities Act. NGOs have been permitted to buy foodgrains directly from FCI for relief operations. FCI has moved double the average foodgrains across the state during the lockdown,” she said.
She stated that the government has hiked the MNREGA wages in the wake of COVID-19. “The average increase is Rs 20. Self-Help Groups under National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) are making masks, face covers, soaps and santisers and running community kitchens,” Sharma said.