Govt asks farmers to continue agricultural activities
30 Apr, 2020
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Apr. 30: The government has requested the farmers to continue their work during the lockdown citing that food insecurity could increase in the country if they stopped agricultural activities. The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development requested the farmers, entrepreneurs and agro and livestock technicians to continue their work from their sides by maintaining physical distance and safety measures against the COVID-19. “We have asked the people involved in the agro and livestock sectors to give continuity to their agricultural activities, including plantation of new crops and harvesting. Food insecurity situation may arise in the country if we stop the activities in the name of lockdown,” said Dr Hari Bahadur KC, spokesman at the Ministry. He said that the country would face a shortage of food items if the plantation of crops and harvesting were stalled during the lockdown. This could affect the supply chain from production to consumption. “It will be impossible to fulfill the total requirement of goods only through imports in the days to come, if we stop producing from our own land,” he said. Stating that the government had allowed smooth transportation of agro products in the country, he said that the traders and the market players should continue their activities to sell the products in the market. The ministry suggested the farmers to use the agriculture equipment properly by disinfecting the tools before and after their use. The ministry requested the farmers not to keep their land barren and plant the seasonal crops as soon as possible, he said. “We request the farmers to keep their products in cold storage if possible and not to worry about the markets for the products which can be stored during this abnormal situation,” he said. The farmers can keep vegetables and fruits in cold storage if they do not get the market at present by drying them and producing juice, he said. Stating that milk collection had decreased in the market due to reduction in its demand, the ministry urged the dairy farmers to prepare dairy products, including ghee and panir from the unsold milk. The ministry requested the farmers to coordinate with the agriculture technicians to get the seeds, medicines, fertilisers and other equipment from the agriculture cooperatives and other argo and livestock related shops. Stating that the farmers were facing huge losses after the vegetables and other agriculture products got damaged in the fields in absence of transportation facilities following the lockdown, the ministry urged the farmers’ groups and agriculture cooperatives to facilitate marketing the goods in coordination with the local levels. “All people should support the farmers from their respective sides to boost their confidence for continuing the agriculture activities in this situation to overcome the impact of COVID 19 on agriculture and food security,” Dr KC said. The ministry also urged the concerned bodies to operate the local agriculture market to sell agriculture products of the farmers. “There is enough production of vegetables in the market to meet the domestic demand at present. So, we request the importers and distributors to supply local vegetables across the country which offsets the losses faced by the farmers in the absence of market at present,” he said. The ministry has urged the local government and the local administration to ensure unhindered movement of vehicles carrying agro products during the lockdown.