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Amid Coronavirus pandemic, for ensuring that the farmers do not suffer from any adverse fall out during the lockdown period, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Government of India is taking several measures for smooth harvesting of Rabi crops and sowing of summer crops.
Video conference was conducted with all states and insurance companies to review the payment of claims, status of Conduct of CCEs (Crop Cutting Experiments) for Rabi 2019-20 crops, crop loss survey and implementation of Smart Sampling Technique.
For facilitating farm insurance, letters issued to all states to issue passes to representatives of concerned insurance companies for co-witnessing Crop Cutting Experiments and to relax the norms for conducting field level survey for intimation received for post-harvest crop losses due to unseasonal rainfall and hailstorm.
Phytosanitary certification (PSC) for export consignments and import releases of plant and plant products are continuing. From the date of lockdown, 24.03.2020 to 02.04.2020, a total of 3,776 PSCs have been issued for export consignments and 1074 import consignments have been released.
For providing support to horticulture crops, necessary coordination is being done with growers, aggregators, wholesalers, mandi associations, state horticulture missions, for smooth transport of commodities and to sort out all difficulties.
In lockdown period, Kisan Call Centres (KCC) at all 21 locations are being operated by diverting calls to individual mobile numbers of farm tele advisors, who are now operating from homes. All 454 KCC seats are being operated daily between 6 AM to 10 PM. Call flow is about 15,000 to 20,000 per day.
Meanwhile, Union Ministry for Home Affairs (MHA) had sent an advisory to all states on March 27, 2020, regarding granting of exception to agricultural operations from lockdown restrictions to fight COVID-19, keeping in mind the harvesting and sowing season.
With this advisory, exceptions have been allowed for farming operations by farmers and farm workers, procurement of agricultural productions, operation of mandis, movement of harvesting and sowing related machinery among other related activities.