As the procurement of rabi (winter) crops is all set to start in Haryana, the government has come out with a set of guidelines to reduce congestion and ensure social distancing in ‘mandis’ (yards) amid the rising cases of COVID-19.
The government has decided that every day, only 100 farmers will be allowed to bring their produce to the ‘mandis’. The market committees will ensure that all the agricultural produce including wheat, mustard and black gram should be brought into the yards only after an online e-gate pass is issued to the farmers, who are registered and verified on the government’s “Meri Fasal Mera Byora” web portal. Farmers can register themselves till April 19 on the portal.
It has also been decided that the produce from other States will be not purchased till further instructions, according to the Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board.
To reduce congestion, the procurement of mustard will start from April 15 and wheat from April 20. The procurement season 2020-21 will end on June 30. The number of purchase centres for wheat procurement have been increased to 2,000 from 477. For mustard, they have been increased from 67 to 140.
“..during the procurement only 50 farmers may be allowed in the ‘mandi’ from 8.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. and another 50 from 2.30 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.,” said the guidelines.
Also for smooth procurement, the market committee in consultation with the concerned “Mandi Associations” will issue the schedule for the registered farmers on daily basis.
Chief Secretary Keshni Anand Arora on Thursday said instructions had been issued to Deputy Commissioners to keep a close watch on the entry and exit points of the yards. “Entry passes to the staff, commission agents, labourers and farmers visiting these centres should be given in a systematic manner to avoid mass gathering,” she said.
The government has also set up a dedicated 24x7 toll-free helpline number 1800-180-2060 which would be fully operationalised by April 13. “An ideal layout plan for every ‘mandi’ has been circulated to all districts to ensure that no farmer, labourer, commission agent or transporter gets infected even as every single grain of wheat, gram, mustard and sunflower of every farmer of Haryana is procured at the Minimum Support Price,” said the Agricultural Marketing Board.