Agriculture Current Affair 28 March 2020

Kerala pineapple growers seek help as lockdown hits harvest

The Centre’s initiative to help tomato farmers in Madhya Pradesh market their harvested stock has prompted Kerala’s pineapple growers to seek similar help from the authorities.

According to growers, around 5,000 tonnes of pineapple is ready for harvest across 45,000 acres in various parts of Kerala. However, the lockdown has adversely affected the harvest, leading to the decaying of the fruit. Around 1,000 tonnes have already rotten and the government should take urgent measures to resolve the crisis, Baby John, President, Pineapple Growers Association Keralam, told BusinessLine.

Work pending to fix supply chain disruptions in agri-sector

The government, on Wednesday, clarified that shops selling seeds and pesticides are out of the purview of the lockdown. However, a lot is yet to be done to ensure logistics for smooth functioning of the sector and avoid black marketing of agri-inputs.

Covid-19 struck India during the busy season for the agriculture sector. It is harvesting time for potato (Bengal, UP, Jharkhand, Odisha), wheat, pulses, and oilseeds. Boro rice (in Bengal, Bihar, and Odisha, among others) which will be harvested in April-May is now in milk-stage (the formation period of rice). It is sowing season for sesame, jute, and maize.

Agriculture Ministry takes quick action to help tomato farmers in Barwani

Madhya Pradesh Govt orders issue of curfew passes
With chaos in farm mandis across the country following the nationwide lockdown, BusinessLine on Thursday featured a story, ‘‘As mandis get shut, here are five ways the government can help farmers cope’’, highlighting the ground-level situation in several States, including Madhya Pradesh. On reading the story, an official from the Ministry of Agriculture called the writer to understand the state of affairs in Madhya Pradesh. The problems of tomato farmers in the three districts of Barwani, Shivpuri and Ratlam, where truckloads of harvested produce have been stuck over the last few days and face the risk of rotting in the heat, were explained to the authorities.

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