GUWAHATI, April 6 - The State is likely to suffer a loss of an estimated 3,571 metric tons of fruits and vegetables in 16 districts due to the lockdown.
This is around 0.06 per cent of total horticulture production and includes products such as tomato, brinjal, cabbage, cauliflower, banana and strawberry.
This was stated by Agriculture Minister Atul Bora while addressing the media here on Monday.
Shockingly, out of the seven government cold storages in Assam, only two are functioning. A total of 29 private cold storages are running in the various parts of the State.
The minister said that fake news spreading through social media platforms about transmission of COVID-19 through vegetables has also badly affected the farmers of Assam.
Bora revealed that such rumours had developed apprehension among the common people across the State which ultimately was having a worsening impact on the markets.
�I am in contact with all the deputy commissioners and urge them to revive the market in their respective districts. As a way to tackle the situation we have also started door-to-door sale of vegetables in many districts,� he said.
Admitting that the increasing trend of positive COVID-19 cases has posed as a major challenge in marketing and distribution of agricultural products across the State, Bora said even in many cases the various initiatives of the agriculture department are not working properly as a sense of fear prevailed among the common people.
Amid the medical emergency situation, agriculture and allied sectors have been suffering a lot, the minister said. Especially in the poultry and animal husbandry sector, lockdown-induced hurdles in transportation of animal feed have posed a big challenge for the entrepreneurs.
Meanwhile, the government today issued directions to start functioning of 14 animal feed mills across Assam. For smooth transportation of animal feed, the minister has also talked with the State police chief.