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COVID 19 and Agriculture

COVID has brought out unimaginable disruption in the market place. The need of the hour is to allow APMCs to operate with minimum interference save health related-imposition of social distancing and sanitization norms. APMCs have established grading and payment systems in place to be used. 

Road and bulk rail transport should be opened cross country which will facilitate transportation of harvests to warehouses and to some extent labor movement at the same time if proper rules of manpower movement on trucks are implemented.

Labour will not walk down on foot this time.  Time is not ripe to enforce eNAM at this time. Digital driven procurement and local distribution are not yet matured. In a testing time like these local kirana stores have scored over E-commerce. Facebook tie-up with Jio could be game-changer, but we have to wait till it evolves. 

We are linked with a large number of farmers on one to one basis through our app FasalSalah. Farmers are taking risks.  Local neighborhood deliveries have evolved with farmers driving with products to local doorsteps of gated societies or Residencial areas risking police action and with full knowledge of obvious danger from Corona. But as margins or hunger outweigh risks, particularly one who is facing starvation or cannot be a mute witness to crop perishing in fields. 

Lockdowns need to be more pragmatic. I am sure there is knowledgeable management at helm judging the pros and cons and what is best for the country.

From all accounts, COVID cure is not in sight for one year at least,

Agriculture cannot wait. Rabi produce has to be sold off and Kharif with good monsoon is at doorsteps. Farming has to go on.

via Getty Images


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