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Amid Coronavirus lockdown, CropLife India, an industry association of 16 R&D driven member crop science companies, has urged the Government of India to allow import, manufacture, distribution, transportation, storage and sale of agrochemicals to support the continuity of food supply chain in the country.
Indian farmers depend on the availability of agricultural inputs to drive production across all crops. These include agrochemicals, empowering farmers to mitigate the substantial losses due to weeds, pests and disease. Since farming communities make up for nearly half of the population in the country; it is important that during these times they should be able to protect their livelihood and incomes, which could be threatened due to lack of the requisite inputs.
Urging the Government for uninterrupted supply of agrochemicals, Asitava Sen, Chief Executive Officer, CropLife India said, “We would like to urge the Government that potential measures put in place to promote ‘social distancing’, secure borders and guard against the spread of COVID-19 should not unintentionally cause disruption in the import, production, transport and availability of crop protection products and other agricultural inputs in the country”.
“Agrochemical industry has played a major role in ensuring food and nutritional security of the nation besides making us one of the key agricultural output countries in the world. Our member companies pledge for un-interrupted supply for the farmers’ sustainability and food security of the nation; during these testing times. With the approaching season just round the corner; the next three months are very critical for the farming community and all activities relating to agriculture inputs should be exempted from the lock down,” Sen added.
“Few states such as Bihar, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh have already issued notifications to this effect; and we express our gratitude towards the state governments. However, we request that the guidelines should be followed in spirit as the farmers will suffer without timely inputs,” Sen further added.