Coronavirus: 3 government schemes under which you will be benefited in this lockdown situation

Coronavirus: These government schemes will benefit you in this and after this 21-day lockdown situation.

Coronavirus: 3 government schemes under which you will be benefited in this lockdown situation
Coronavirus: 3 government schemes under which you will be benefited in this lockdown situation

oronavirus threat: We are in that time now, where coronavirus is spread like anything and is everywhere. In this view, the Indian government has taken certain steps to control this widespread Covid-19 virus.

Indian government is doing anything and everything to contain this situation by doing 21-day lockdown.

Due to this coronavirus outbreak and seeing what the conditions are, the government has so far taken a calibrated approach to offering relief by relaxing compliance requirements under various statutes and a welfare package for farmers, workers in the unorganized sector and the poor.

Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY)

Prime Minister announced Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana as the National Mission on Financial Inclusion in his Independence Day address on 15th August 2014, to ensure comprehensive financial inclusion of all the households in the country by providing universal access to banking facilities with at least one basic bank account to every household, financial literacy, access to credit, insurance and pension facility. Under this, a person not having a savings account can open an account without the requirement of any minimum balance.

PMJDY offers unbanked persons easy access to banking services and awareness about financial products through financial literacy programmes. In addition, they receive a RuPay debit card, with inbuilt accident insurance cover of Rs. 2 lakh, and access to overdraft facility upon satisfactory operation of account or credit history of six months.

The facility

In view of this coronavirus spread and lockdown situation, the government has announced various packages. Under the package, the government will provide 5 kg of wheat or rice and 1 kg of pulses free every month for the next three months. Besides, 204 million women Jan Dhan account holders will get Rs 500 per month for the next three months.

Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN)

Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) is a Central Sector scheme with 100% funding from Government of India.

Under the Scheme an income support of Rs.6000/- per year is provided to all farmer families across the country in three equal installments of Rs.2000/- each every four months.

The facility

The first installment of Rs 2,000 under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Yojana will be frontloaded to reach 87 million farmers in April.

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana

The Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Smt. Niramla Sitharaman announced Rs 1.70 Lakh Crore relief package under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana for the poor to help them fight the battle against Coronavirus.

HERE ARE PRADHAN MANTRI GARIB KALYAN YOJANA PACKAGES:

Safai karamcharis, ward-boys, nurses, ASHA workers, paramedics, technicians, doctors and specialists and other health workers would be covered by a Special insurance Scheme.Any health professional, who while treating Covid-19 patients, meet with some accident, then he/she would be compensated with an amount of Rs 50 lakh under the scheme.To ensure adequate availability of protein to all the above mentioned individuals, 1 kg per family, would be provided pulses according to regional preferences for next three months. These pulses would be provided free of cost by the Government of India.Under PM Garib Kalyan Yojana, gas cylinders, free of cost, would be provided to 8 crore poor families for the next three months.Wage-earners below Rs 15,000 per month in businesses having less than 100 workers are at risk of losing their employment. Under this package, government proposes to pay 24 percent of their monthly wages into their PF accounts for next three months.There are around 3 crore aged widows and people in Divyang category who are vulnerable due to economic disruption caused by Covid-19. Government will give them Rs 1,000 to tide over difficulties during the next three months.

Source: IndiaToday
Link:https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/gk-current-affairs/story/coronavirus-3-government-schemes-lockdown-situation-divd-1660648-2020-03-28

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. 

Farmers have requested the Agriculture department to make arrangements to stock more fertiliser in PACCS in adequate quantities to meet demand.

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

Chief District Agriculture Officer (CDAO) Santosh Ray said fertilizer and pesticide shops, that were closed since ‘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 labourers working on their land.

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

Similarly, pulses including mung, biri, kulthi, cowpea, fieldpea 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 hectare land.

This apart, vegetable including potato, sweet potato and onion have been cultivated over 18,155 hectare land.

Similarly, condiments including chilli, garlic and coriander have been grown over 7,740 hectare. A farmer, Umesh Mishra of Satupali village in Dhankauda block said the farmers across the district were in a dilemma over 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 fertiliser, he said.

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

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

The non-paddy crops are in harvesting stage and farmers can harvest their crop by maintaining social distancing. Till 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

Farm activities exempted from lockdown rules to ensure food security: Agriculture Minister

To ensure that farmers do not face problems in harvesting, the Centre has directed concerned ministries and state governments to follow the exemptions strictly, he added.

farming, farmer

NEW DELHI: Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Saturday said farming operations and related activities have been exempted from the lockdown rules for smooth harvesting of rabi crops and to ensure food security in the country.

“At this critical time, the exemptions have been given for agriculture related activities to ensure enough food supply to the people after the lockdown. It is also done to ensure ordinary citizens and farmers do not face problems,” Tomar said in a statement.

To ensure that farmers do not face problems in harvesting, the Centre has directed concerned ministries and state governments to follow the exemptions strictly, he added.

Tomar said exemptions for farm activities were given after he raised the concerns of farmers and farm organisation with the Home Ministry.

On March 27, the government exempted farming operations, farm workers, custom hiring centres of farm harvesters and implements as well as mandis and procurement agencies from the lockdown rules.

The government has allowed fertiliser shops to function, and even manufacturing and packaging of fertilisers, pesticides and seeds have been permitted during the lockdown period.

Inter and intra movement of farm machinery related to sowing and harvesting is also exempted from the lockdown rules.

COVID-19: Punjab’s Rural Economy Takes a Big Hit

Small farmers and laborers are among the worst hit; wheat harvest is under a cloud. The lockdown in India’s bread basket of Punjab in the wake of the coronavirus disease outbreak (COVID-19) has put its rural economy into an uncertain and desperate situation.

The people of the state, especially in rural areas, are in a state of palpable unrest over issues including harvesting of the standing wheat, unemployed rural laborers, the poultry sector as well as police treatment of the masses amid the lockdown.

Small and marginal farmers as well as farm labourers are the most affected in the state due to the breakdown of supply chains.

 “The vegetable sales have plummeted in a big way. There are many instances where people are simply dumping their vegetable produce as they are unable to transport their produce for viable sales,” agriculture economics expert, Gian Singh, said.

“One needs to understand that a vegetable like cauliflower needs to be harvested at an ideal time. If the crop is left standing for just a few days more, it gets destroyed,” he added.

The most important issue that he pointed out was the forthcoming harvest of wheat. There are many questions surrounding the harvest which generally starts around April 10, including the availability of labor, wheat procurement, and transportation.

The wheat harvest in Punjab is among the most enormous agricultural operations, not only in India but in the entire world, as the farmer aims to prepare his fields for the subsequent crop while the government has to ensure that the produce moves safely from mandis to warehouses.

“It needs to be seen how these operations are carried out. While many go in for mechanical harvesting, there are still people who harvest manually. The wheat straw that is procured through manual harvesting is a better fodder for domestic cattle,” Gian Singh said.

“The government must allow conditional relaxation for wheat harvest while educating the masses on social distancing,” he added. A bumper crop was being expected this year, Singh said, despite unseasonal rains, as the norm for wheat produce was that the more the number of cold days, the greater the yield.

Punjab had produced 18,209,000 tonnes of wheat last year, according to the Economic Survey 2018-19. The state had 3,520,000 hectares under wheat cultivation and the yield per hectare was 5,173 kg.

A comprehensive mandi-wise list was being worked out for procurement of wheat that would be issued in due course, according to a government announcement.

The government needed to ensure that vegetable and milk producers were not harassed in villages and their supply reached the end user in towns and cities, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) leader Gobinder Singh, said.

“The announcements being made by the government must translate into reality on the ground. It also needs to be ensured that the goods being sold through mobile vans do not end up in the black market in villages,” he added.

Along with farm labor, the daily wage earners who traveled daily to nearby towns and cities for manual jobs were also facing a very tough time, Sanjeev Mintu of Krantikari Pendu Mazdoor Union told this reporter.

“We visited such households in Upli village near Sangrur and Namol village near Sunam and found that this section of the society is in despair. The question they are asking is ‘How do we fight Corona with empty stomachs?’,” Mintu said.

“Their cans of food grain are empty and the women, who have taken small loans, are anxious about how they would repay these loans. There is also a massive cash crunch in such houses. While the government has announced the availability of essentials at fixed rates, these laborers say they cannot afford even these essentials since they have no cash in hand,” he added.

Dairy and poultry

Those into small-time dairy farming have also been badly affected, Mintu said. “While those supplying milk to big plants have some relief, those who deliver small quantities to households in nearby towns are facing a tough time as they are scared of police and the curfew. The closure of veterinary hospitals has further complicated issues,” he said.

Among the most heavily impacted are poultry farmers who are suffering huge losses.

“These losses began with rumors that chicken and eggs cause COVID-19 and people stopped consuming them. Things came to such a pass that chicken was selling at Rs 5 per kilogram. Now the problem has further intensified, with the authorities not permitting the sale amid curfew,” Manpreet Chahal, a poultry farmer from Sangrur, said.

With no feed available and the birds locked down, poultry farmers were looking at a very dismal scenario, Chahal said. 

“We do not have ways and means to procure the feed as truckers are reluctant to go out. I am looking at a loss of nothing less than Rs 70 lakh. You can calculate that if I spend Rs 70 for preparing a bird that is not selling at even Rs 0 and I have 50,000 birds, what would be my loss?”

Chahal said many poultry farmers were dumping their birds on the road.

One of the rural population’s major demands has been that police show sensitivity in dealing with farmers going to their fields, women going to collect fodder, and milk producers going to deliver to people nearby.

The fear of getting assaulted by the cops, which has multiplied with the circulation of numerous videos of curfew violators being thrashed, has played heavily on their minds.

Meanwhile, the state police were facing pressure from wheat farmers for the opening of pesticide markets and shops besides demands from potato growers for safe passage and transportation for supply of their crop to other states, Punjab’s Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta, said.

He said all efforts were being made to resolve these concerns at the earliest and suggestions were being taken from various sections.

Police claimed they had launched innovative and Indigenous initiatives across districts to facilitate the door-to-door supply of essential goods through strategic tie-ups with Zomato, Swiggy, Verka, Amul, mandi pradhans, chemist associations, etc.

 “As a result of the initiatives taken by the district police, door-to-door supplies of essential goods like medicines, grocery, and eatables have started in many of the districts of the state,” a spokesperson said.

Source: Downtoearth
Link:https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/agriculture/covid-19-punjab-s-rural-economy-takes-a-big-hit-70045

India Passes INR 170K Cr Covid-19 Package For Farmers, Daily Wagers

1.Farmers will get an instalment of INR 2000 under PM-KISAN scheme in April

2.Govt has increased the daily wages of workers employed under the MNREGA

3.INR 50 Lakh insurance cover for medical professionals has also been announced

India Passes INR 170K Cr Covid-19 Package For Farmers, Daily Wagers

With small and medium businesses, agricultural units, farmers and daily workers hit hard by the nationwide lockdown in India, experts had been calling for a relief fund to help these marginalised sections of the economy survive the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. And finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on Thursday (March 26), announced a relief package of INR 170K Cr to help mitigate the negative impact on agriculture and farmers.ADVERTISEMENT

Sitharaman said that the government will provide this relief package to beneficiaries in eight different categories. Out of these, some of the categories will receive the money directly in the bank accounts under various central government schemes. Notably, no direct measures were announced by Sitaraman to revive the economy during the media briefing or to support the impacted SMBs in India.

However, the FM had previously announced some measures like extending of deadlines for many business compliance processes, linking PAN with Aadhaar, among other changes.  Earlier, reports had speculated that India would be announcing a $20 Bn relief fund for Covid-19 impacted small and medium businesses.

Online Transfer Of Benefits

Under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) programme, the government is already transferring INR 6000 annually to around 8.69 Cr farmers across the country. The money is sent to these farmers direct to their bank accounts, using the MIS IT application, in three instalments of INR 2000. Sitharaman announced that these farmers will get the next instalment in April 2020 to tackle any adversities temporarily.

Additionally, those who are already getting senior citizen, widow or disabled pension from the government will get additional INR 2000 in two instalments of INR 1000 in the next three months.

“This will provide benefit close to 3 Cr individuals”- Sitharaman

Moreover, the government has also increased the daily wages of workers employed under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee (MNREGA) scheme. Sitaraman announced that the salary has been increased to INR 202 from INR 182 per day for the next three months.ADVERTISEMENT

Sitharaman expects that the decision will result in an additional income of INR 2000 to these workers. The FM said the measure will provide relief to around 5 Cr families in India.

Further, the government has also announced that it is increasing the amount for the collateral-free loan amount to INR 20 Lakh from previous INR 10 Lakh for women-led self-help groups (SHGs). According to Sitharaman, this will help around 63K SHGs to get loans to help women and families around associated with them. This loan will be directly transferred to the bank accounts of SHGs.

Also, the finance minister has announced other slew of measures to prevent the most vulnerable people from the economic crisis. This includes free gas cylinders to families registered under Ujjwala scheme, additional distribution of rice, wheat, and stapes under PDS programme, INR 50 Lakh insurance cover for medical professionals, a fund for construction workers to be distributed by the state governments, among others.

For the organised sector, the government of India will pay the EPF contribution of employer and employee that comes to 24% (12% each) for the next three months. However, the benefits will be provided to the organisations having less than 100 employees with 90% employee earning less than INR 15K per month. Additionally, for the benefit of 80 Lakh employees registered with EPFO, regulations are going to be amended to allow these people to take non-refundable advances of around 75% of their EPFO account balance or three moths salary, whichever is lower. The decision is expected to help around 4 Cr individuals.ADVERTISEMENT

Also, the government has set up a direct mineral fund which the state governments can use to improve the infrastructure of medical testing facilities, medical screening, and other healthcare facilities.

Source:Inc42
Link:https://inc42.com/buzz/india-announces-inr-170k-cr-relief-package-for-farmers-daily-wagers/

Farm Workers, Agriculture Companies Exempted from Lockdown: Home Ministry

The government has notified procurement agencies like the Food Corporation of India, Nafed, and other state agencies that buy foodgrains and pulses from farmers at minimum support prices under goods and services exempted under the Disaster Management Act to ensure smooth procurement operations ahead of the fresh harvest season.

The Union home ministry has issued fresh guidelines exempting additional categories related to agricultural operations. “They have been exempted under the Disaster Management Act, concerning the 21-day lockdown,” an order stated.

The second addendum issued by home secretary Ajay Bhalla on Friday exempted farm workers in the fields and farming operations by farmers, agencies engaged in procurement of agriculture products including MSPs, mandis notified by the state governments, inter and intra-state movement of harvesting and sowing-related machines and manufacturing, packaging units of fertilizers, pesticides, and seeds, among others.

During the 21-day lockdown, movement of public transport has been restricted while markets, schools, and other establishments have been closed. Only essential services and goods are allowed during the lockdown period.

On Thursday, the Home Ministry came up with standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the delivery of essential services through e-commerce and asked States and Union Territories to take measures to specify shops, including ration units dealing with food, groceries, fruits, vegetables, milk products, among others, to ensure supplies.

Noting that the availability of essential goods takes place through small local retail shops, large organized retail stores, and e-commerce companies, the home secretary said the suppliers of essential goods, including restaurants supplying home delivery of cooked food items are exempted.

Reference Link: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/agriculture/govt-exempts-farm-activities-from-lockdown/articleshow/74852730.cms

Modi govt to give Rs 15,000 crore to farmers under PM KISAN scheme

This will help farmers support their living during the nationwide lockdown, due to which farmers are not able to sell their produce. The government so far has distributed around Rs 54,000 crore benefiting 87.1 million farmers over four equal instalments, starting from December 2019.

Untitled-1
“We have received data of 100 million farmers. We are verifying them with states for linking it with their Aadhar number. We are quite hopeful to saturate the list in couple of months,” the official said

NEW DELHI: The Modi government at the Centre is set to transfer around Rs 15,000 crore to close to 75 million farmers from April 1 under the PM KISAN scheme, which gives farmers cash benefit of Rs 2000 in three equal instalments.

This will help farmers support their living during the nationwide lockdown, due to which farmers are not able to sell their produce.

“We are preparing list of farmers to be paid the next instalment. We have started sending these lists to their respective states validation. After that we will transfer the money. We are prepared to transfer it from April 1, when the instalment gets due,” said an official.

The money will be of great help to farmers who are struggling to sell their produce during lockdown.

“Timing of crediting this instalment is important. At this point farmers need money only to buy agriculture inputs for planting summer pulses but also to tide over the lockdown period,” the official said.

The government so far has distributed around Rs 54,000 crore benefiting 87.1 million farmers over four equal instalments, starting from December 2019.

“We have received data of 100 million farmers. We are verifying them with states for linking it with their Aadhar number. We are quite hopeful to saturate the list in couple of months,” the official said.

PM KISAN beneficiaries in major states

StatesNumber of Beneficiaries
Uttar Pradesh18.4
Maharashtra7.7
Tamil Nadu3.5
Telangana3.47
Andhra Pradesh5.01
Bihar5.34
Rajasthan5.09
Madhya Pradesh4.93

source: Economic times
Link:https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/agriculture/modi-govt-to-give-rs-15000-crore-to-farmers-under-pm-kisan-scheme/articleshow/74822249.cms

Coronavirus Pandemic is Ominous News for India’s Rabi Crops and Farm-to-Food Chain

During the coronavirus crisis, income support platforms must be utilized by both the state and the Centre. Social distancing should be a norm in wheat procurement mandis.

As India goes into a 21-day lockdown, the Narendra Modi government has sought to reassure an anxious public that the country has multiple times the required reserve of food grains to tide over the crisis.  There have also been urgent calls for both central and state governments to ensure that the public distribution system — PDS — is fully supported to safeguard food security, especially for the millions of poor families who will be disproportionately affected by the massive closures. A few states have responded quickly, announcing a range of measures including food rations and mid-day meals to provide basic support to those who will struggle daily to survive. Their implementation will be absolutely critical.

India’s huge buffer stock, however, will not offer any protection to those farmers who are currently supplying fresh produce markets and those who are depending on returns from the rabi harvest that looms ahead. We already know that the widespread fear around the possible animal transmission of the virus, coupled with reported cases of bird flu, has led to a meltdown in the Indian poultry industry, with a steep decline in prices over the last two months. This will, in all likelihood, also depress the feed market and its constitutive commodities, especially the price of maize. For farmers in eastern Bihar, whose rabi maize starts coming into the market in large volumes in April, this is ominous news.


No buyers in mandis

Major wholesale horticultural produce markets are already contracting. Potato traders in Azadpur Mandi told researcher Shivani Gupta that they are trying to shut shop over the next two days and have asked farmers to stop sending trucks and to store whatever they can at their end. Meanwhile, they are trying to sell the stocks from some 190 trucks that have been standing in the mandi yard since Saturday. As it happens, this is the season for kaccha potatoes, which once harvested cannot be stored. But there is no public transport and few buyers. A farmer in Hoshiarpur, where Gupta spent a year doing fieldwork, told her he had 55 bags, each filled with 50 kilograms of potato, but no buyer in sight. A Haryanvi trader currently procuring lauki (bottle gourd) in Kotputli, Rajasthan has similarly been turned down by 20 arhatiya (commission agent) associations in Punjab, who are all minimising operations. Wherever possible, for seasonal produce such as mosambi (sweet lime) and oranges, traders are packing them in cold storage. Credit rotations, on which these markets run, are already breaking down.

In my field site in Harda, Madhya Pradesh, some farmers have begun harvesting their wheat, while many others will join over the next two weeks. But they are worried about what happens next. Mandis in Harda and across many market towns in Madhya Pradesh are closed at least until 3 April. Both farmers and traders are uncertain about the status of the government’s wheat procurement operations for the upcoming season. As a trader recalled today: notebandi (demonetisation) hit us at the peak of the kharif marketing season in 2016, and now coronavirus has hit just as the rabi harvest is about to arrive. The impact is likely to be severe, especially because it comes on the back of long-term agrarian distress.


Supply chains and social distancing

This calls for urgent action and innovation. First, farmers (landed and landless) and agricultural laborers need to be included in the economic relief and income support measures that the center and state governments are working out. Both the Centre and the states have developed Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT)/income support platforms for agriculturalists, and these must now be utilised. At the same time, it is also critical for us to think quickly and collectively about how we can support and protect our vast, interconnected agricultural production and marketing system so that it can keep moving as fairly and as safely as possible for India to attempt to stand still.

What should public procurement look like during a pandemic? When wheat procurement starts next month, we will need to streamline and manage the flow of arrivals into mandis and procurement centers in line with protocols for social distancing. For those familiar with these marketplaces, this may sound highly unrealistic. Major mandis are usually packed to the brim and overflowing during peak season and the pile-ups are especially high whenever there is uncertainty about market closures and public procurement windows. But states such as Madhya Pradesh have used SMS-based pre-registration systems fairly successfully in the past to try to regulate arrivals and manage logistics and these will now need to be deployed and further strengthened.

Communication needs to be very clear and consistent so that farmers do not flood market sites for fear of closure. Payments will also need to be processed quickly. Each step of exchange and transfer – sampling, auctions, weighing, and payment – can be reviewed to minimize crowding and contact.

In the upcoming season, we need to quickly plan ahead to better utilize and enhance storage and warehousing facilities and ensure more transparent inventory management so that farmers, in particular, may benefit from such action. This means getting credit and financing systems in place and working out strategies to urgently step up support to well-functioning Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs). We also need to ensure that transportation networks enable the timely and safe movement of food. A significant proportion of agricultural produce, especially fresh produce, moves daily—locally and regionally—via public transport. If these systems remain closed for long, alternative and accessible transportation options will need to be made available.


Strengthen local food systems

Finally, we will need to focus on both public and private food distribution systems and ensure that they work as equitably as possible. Historically, in times of crisis, food markets become explosive sites for the expression of public fear, anger, and aggression. Reports of widespread consumer panic and the stockpiling of food and household provisions from New York to New Delhi tell us that this time is unlikely to be different. But, at least in some places, there is also much-needed recognition of the essential services that grocers provide every day.

For instance, the governments of Minnesota and Vermont in the United States have classified grocery clerks as ‘emergency workers’, entitling them to state-funded childcare services and other benefits so that they can continue to serve in stores. We need to think about our own vast, largely informal networks of traders, wholesalers and retailers and take concrete steps to support them as they keep working during shutdowns. This period of social distancing and border closures may also be precisely the time to strengthen local food systems, reducing the distance between production and consumption wherever feasible.

The latest novel coronavirus pandemic may well be the result of our insatiable appetite and extraordinary capacity for the commodification of non-human life. And perhaps at the end of this crisis, we will be forced to truly consider what this means for the future. In the meantime, we need to take urgent and immediate steps to ensure that our agricultural commodity markets—and the millions of lives and livelihoods that depend on them—are secured and supported to the greatest extent possible.

Modi govt to give Rs 15,000 crore to farmers under PM KISAN scheme

This will help farmers support their living during the nationwide lockdown, due to which farmers are not able to sell their produce. The government so far has distributed around Rs 54,000 crore benefiting 87.1 million farmers over four equal instalments, starting from December 2019.



he Modi government at the Centre is set to transfer around Rs 15,000 crore to close to 75 million farmers from April 1 under the PM KISAN scheme, which gives farmers cash benefit of Rs 2000 in three equal instalments.

This will help farmers support their living during the nationwide lockdown, due to which farmers are not able to sell their produce.

We are preparing list of farmers to be paid the next instalment. We have started sending these lists to their respective states validation. After that we will transfer the money. We are prepared to transfer it from April 1, when the instalment gets due,” said an official.

The money will be of great help to farmers who are struggling to sell their produce during lockdown.

“Timing of crediting this instalment is important. At this point farmers need money only to buy agriculture inputs for planting summer pulses but also to tide over the lockdown period,” the official said.

The government so far has distributed around Rs 54,000 crore benefiting 87.1 million farmers over four equal instalments, starting from December 2019.

“We have received data of 100 million farmers. We are verifying them with states for linking it with their Aadhar number. We are quite hopeful to saturate the list in couple of months,” the official said.

Reference Link: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/agriculture/modi-govt-to-give-rs-15000-crore-to-farmers-under-pm-kisan-scheme/articleshow/74822249.cms

India Lockdown: About 1,600 Fruit, Vegetable Mandis Functioning; 300 More to Operate from Friday, says Agri Min

As many as 1,600 wholesale fruit and vegetable mandis have started functioning smoothly and 300 more will operate from Friday after the central government on Thursday stepped in to normalize the supply during the lockdown.

The Union agriculture ministry is in constant touch with state governments in charge of agriculture marketing and APMC (Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee) or wholesale mandi boards to take proactive measures to ensure the supply of essential vegetables and fruits is not hit during the lockdown period.

“There was initial resistance but we have persuaded state governments and the APMC board to keep mandis open. As a result, 1,600 fruits and vegetable mandis have started functioning smoothly today (Thursday) and 300 more will open tomorrow (Friday),” a senior agriculture ministry official told PTI.

There are about 6,900 wholesale mandis, including grains, vegetables, and fruits ones, across the country. The grain mandis get activated during the time of harvest. Right now, the focus is on vegetable and fruit mandis, the official said.

To normalize supply in major cities, the Centre has asked Mother Dairy’s Safal vegetable outlets in Delhi, Sufal Bangla retail outlets in Kolkata, Hopcoms retail outlets in Bengaluru and similar outlets in Chennai and Mumbai to monitor the movement of supplies and coordinate with local administration.

On the inter-state movement of vegetables, the official said traders are “facing problems on the ground as the police are enforcing strictly the lockdown rules”.

However, mandis have been asked to set up a control room to intervene and coordinate with local police and district collector as well as transport association to resolve the matter, the official added.

On safety and preventive measures, the official said awareness is being created about COVID-19 through loudspeakers and even posters have been put out in mandis.

Besides, mandis have put in place a system to maintain social distancing and encourage traders to wear face masks and hand sanitizers regularly to combat coronavirus. Even mandi premise is being disinfected regularly, the official added.

Reference Link: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/agriculture/india-lockdown-about-1600-fruit-vegetable-mandis-functioning-300-more-to-operate-from-friday-says-agri-min/articleshow/74833470.cms