Odisha Lockdown: Fertiliser Shops to Open for Farmers

The shops would be open for two-and-a-half hours daily from 9.30 am to 12 noon. They have been asked to ensure social distancing among customers and proper sanitation. 

SAMBALPUR: In a bid to ensure uninterrupted farming activities even in the face of the coronavirus threat, the district agriculture wing has decided to allow the opening of fertilizer and pesticide shops.

Chief District Agriculture Officer (CDAO) Santosh Ray said fertilizer and pesticide shops, that were closed since the ‘Janata curfew’ on March 22  and the succeeding lockdown, were opened on Thursday.  

The shops would be open for two-and-a-half hours daily from 9.30 am to 12 noon. They have been asked to ensure social distancing among customers and proper sanitation. 

The farmers are also required to maintain social distancing among laborers working on their land.

As per reports, paddy has been cultivated over around 14,630 hectares of land during the current rabi season in the district.

Similarly, pulses including mung, biri, kulthi, cowpea, field pea, and gram besides other pulses have been grown over 15,300-hectare land.

Oilseeds including groundnut, sesame, mustard, and sunflower have been cultivated over 11,421 hectares of land.

This apart, vegetables including potato, sweet potato, and onion have been cultivated over 18,155 hectares of land.

Similarly, condiments including chili, garlic, and coriander have been grown over 7,740 hectares. A farmer, Umesh Mishra of Satupali village in Dhankauda block said the farmers across the district were in a dilemma over the closure of the fertilizer and pesticide shops.

However, the State Government has taken the right decision by opening the outlets. At present, standing paddy crops require fertilizer, he said.

Ray said the transplantation of paddy seedlings was completed in the district before the lockdown.

With the opening up of the fertilizer shops, the farmers can start using both urea and potash fertilizer on their paddy fields.

The non-paddy crops are in the harvesting stage and farmers can harvest their crops by maintaining social distancing. To date, there has been no report of pest attack, he added.

Farming in times of crisis

  • The fertilizer and pesticide shops would be open for two-and-a-half hours daily from 9.30 am to 12 noon. They have been asked to ensure  social distancing among customers and proper sanitation
  • The farmers are  required to maintain social distancing among labourers working on their land

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