Agriculture Current Affair 12 April 2020

NITI Aayog suggests mandi norms relaxation for farmers for 6 months

NITI Aayog member and agricultural policy expert Ramesh Chand has recommended to the government that the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act be kept in suspended animation for the next six months in view of the Covid-19 outbreak. This should be done across states even if an ordinance is required, he said, to ease pressure on farmers and ensure smooth supply of farming goods.

The government is considering the recommendation seriously, according to people aware of the matter .

Govt disburses Rs 15,841 cr to 7.92 cr farmers under PM-KISAN during lockdown

The government has disbursed the first instalment of Rs 15,841 crore to 7.92 crore farmers under the PM-KISAN scheme, since March 24, the day lockdown was announced to curb COVID-19.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme, the Centre transfers an amount of Rs 6,000 per year, in three equal instalments, directly into the bank accounts of farmers, subject to certain exclusion criteria relating to higher income status.

“During the lockdown period from March 24, about 7.92 crore farmer families have been benefited (under PM-KISAN) and an amount of Rs 15,841 crore has been released so far,” the agriculture ministry said.

Small-time fishermen all at sea as cash dries up amid lockdown

Gabriel, a fisherman of Enayam village in Tamil Nadu’s Kanyakumari district, is fervently hoping the lockdown is lifted soon and he can venture into the sea again. Sharing his fears and hopes is Sekar at Ayodhya Kuppam, a fishing hamlet in Chennai.

Both Gabriel and Sekar are small-time fishermen who use catamarans to spend a few hours in the sea and return with sizeable quantities of fish — enough to take care of their families. However, the lockdown has forced them to remain on shore, and cash is drying out fast.

Hundreds of catamarans are parked on Chennai’s Marina beach, and at Enayam/Colachel in southern Tamil Nadu, among other coastal areas.

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