Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers welfare said summer crop area of this year has grown compared to last year and procurement of agricultural produce has also risen despite the national lockdown implemented for two long months.
“More areas under Summer Crops over last year, procurement to rise despite lockdown,” said in a press release by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers.
COVID-19 has forced the government to shut the nation for two months, the virus has impacted urban areas harshly compared to rural parts of the country. Big cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai host more than half of the country’s corona cases.
The press release said 34.87 lakh hectares are now under paddy cultivation which is 9.58 lakh hectares more compared to last year when 25.29 lakh hectares was under paddy cultivation. This year summer has 12.82 lakh hectares of pulses covered while last year it was at 9.67 lakh hectares.
The Coarse Cereals summer crops area is about 10.28 lakh hectares, last year the area covered was 7.30 lakh hectares. Oilseeds have the least growth among summer crops, 9.28 lakh hectares last year the number was 7.34 lakh hectares.
Though the supply chain has faced some issues during the lockdown as agriculture produce comes under essential items, the government continued the sale and procurement of the new production also did not stop.
“Despite the lockdown, the procurement of agriculture produce like chana (gram) and mustard has been smooth and payment is being made to the farmers within 3 days. Due to measures like social distancing in mandis and agricultural markets due to the corona outbreak being highly contagious we saw a need for more procurement sites,” said NAFED Managing Director Sanjeev Kumar Chadha to IANS.
The government procured a quantity of 5.89 lakh MT Gram (Chana), 4.97 MT Mustard, and 4.99 lakh MT Toor under NAFED during the countrywide lockdown. In Rabi Marketing Season (RMS) 2020-21 MT wheat quantity of 333.748 lakh has arrived in FCI out of which the government purchased 326.96 lakh MT wheat.