Agriculture Current Affairs - 2020

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APMC provides Guidelines to prevent crowding in Mumbai

The Agricultural Produce Market committee has issued guidelines to prevent crowding in markets in Mumbai. The committee has come up with the move as the vegetable traders have stopped working to protect themselves from the virus. This has increased the rush in markets. Similar issues has been faced by markets in other parts of the country as well.

What is the issue?

On March 28, 2020, the vegetable markets across the country saw huge rush of customers as the traders have stopped working. However, the supply chain has to be kept running for the essentials to reach citizens on time.

Lack of traders has put AMPC with limited number of sales points. In fact, the sales point of vegetables gets restricted to markets with the absence of traders. This has increased the crowding. Therefore, the necessity for guidelines comes in to keep the crowd safe from the spread of COVID-19.

Guidelines

According to the new guidelines 30% of the traders will function. These traders will get separate approval from the board on the quantity to be sold and can order stock only after approval comes in. Loading of goods are to be done on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Unloading of goods are to be done on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

APMC

The APMC are established by the State governments. They help to safeguard farmers from large retailers. The committee also makes sure that the farm to retail price does not spread at high levels. It operates on two major principles namely

  • All farm produce should compulsorily brought to market and sold through auction
  • It should make sure that farmers are not exploited by the intermediaries

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Lock Down: Agriculture and allied activities exempted

On March 28, 2020, the Union Agriculture Minister announced that agriculture and farming related activities have been exempted from Lock Down. This was introduced in the second addendum introduced by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Highlights

Under the second addendum issued by the Home Ministry towards the lock down, the following categories have been exempted

  • The ‘Mandis’ operated by the APMC (Agriculture Produce Market Committee)
  • The agencies or enterprises that are involved in procurement of agricultural products. This includes the Minimum Support Price operations as well
  • Packaging and Manufacturing units of fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Movement of machineries involved in harvesting and sowing. The movements within the states and between the states have been exempted from the lock down.

Significance

The move has been brought in to facilitate unhindered activities related to farming and agriculture. Also, this will also ensure supply of essential commodities to common people during the lock down.

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