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COVID-19 fallout: Agri Minister calls for aggressive farming

By Staff Correspondent

DIBRUGARH, April 17 - To see that the agriculture sector is not paralysed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Agriculture Minister Atul Bora said on Thursday that the government has worked out plans to motivate and bring enthusiasm among the farmers to go for massive farming.

Addressing newsmen after a review meeting with the Agriculture Department and allied Departments like Food and Civil Supply, Revenue and Disaster Management, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary and Labour Welfare, etc., at the Circuit House here, the Agriculture Minister said the government was seeking to ensure that the farmers are problem-free during these agriculture season amid the ongoing pandemic.

�We are thankful that the Centre has given exemption to the agriculture sector as majority of our people are dependent on agriculture. Besides, it is also peak time for the farmers to begin agricultural activities in their fields. All farmers in the state must accept it as a challenge and make extra effort for maximum production this season. We must be able to export our produce to other states as well,� Bora said.

He said that the government has decided to make available seeds of bitter gourd, lady�s finger, cucumber, bottle gourd and other crops so that farmers do not face scarcity.

�We have also decided to ensure availability of all required essentials for the agriculture sector like seeds, fertilizers, medicines, agricultural tools and even feed for poultry, etc., so that our effort to maximize output is achieved. We will try to export our produce to other states. In fact, we are already in touch with some traders in Delhi,� the Minister added.

�To monitor the whole exercise, we have formed a committee under the Principal Secretary of the Agriculture Department where all other directors and officials of the connected departments including the Marketing Board are included. In the district level, committees are being formed under the District Development Commissioners. These committees will ensure that required essentials are available, equally distributed, marketed and also check that no unscrupulous elements take advantage in the process,� the Minister said.

Prior to the press conference, the minister also had a brief meeting with members of the traders� body.

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