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Department to draw roadmap for carrying on agri works amid Covid curbs

Department to draw roadmap for carrying on agri works amid Covid curbs
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KOLKATA: In a bid to ensure that farmers don't face any inconvenience amid the new set of restrictions being imposed for checking Covid spread, the state Agriculture department is preparing a robust roadmap to ensure unhindered supply of fertiliser and adequate manpower to undertake proper agricultural activities.

The state Agriculture minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay will hold a high-level meeting on Monday at Nabanna in this connection. Onkar Singh Meena, Secretary of the state Agriculture department, and Pradip Mazumdar, who was Advisor on Agriculture in Chief Minister's Office, and MLA from Durgapur Purba, will also attend the meeting.

Discussions will be held on three aspects. The first point of discussion will be about the preparations needed for the coming agricultural season.

"We need to discuss many issues as a set of restrictions have been imposed. In order to let the farmers carry on with their activities without facing any problems in this situation, we need to prepare a roadmap," said the state Agriculture minister.

At present, the harvest of paddy is going on in major parts of the state. It may be recalled that the state engaged at least 3,000 combine harvester machines to harvest crops ahead of Super Cyclone Amphan.

The ravaging cyclone amid the first wave of pandemic was a cause of concern for the state Agriculture department as there was dearth of manpower due to lockdown to harvest crops.

But the infrastructure created by the Mamata Banerjee government since 2011 including setting up of Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs), from where farmers can take heavy agri-machineries on hire, had helped to harvest the crop despite lack of adequate manpower.

The matter related to ensuring adequate supply of fertilisers through its outlets when the restrictions had been imposed would also be discussed in Monday's meeting.

The state Agriculture department has also started collecting information from district authorities about the damage caused to crops in the recently-held hailstorm accompanied with rain. The matter related to providing necessary financial assistance to the farmers at the earliest would also be discussed in the meeting.

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