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. (AGENCIES)