Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], April 1 (ANI): Punjab Mandi Board chairman Lal Singh on Thursday said all preparations have been made for the procurement of wheat which would begin from April 10.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Punjab government has given necessary instructions to adopt safety protocols strictly in all the grain markets of the state.
Arrangements being made by Mandi Board were reviewed by Punjab Mandi Board Chairman today during a meeting with Secretary Mandi Board Ravi Bhagat and other officers.
"Wheat procurement process would be carried out through 156 market committees of the state. Besides the officials from head office, 5,600 field staff would also perform duties to ensure smooth functioning of the procurement operations of Rabi Marketing Season (RMS)," authorities informed during the meeting.
"Covid safety measures would be in place during the procurement operations with a view to ensure the safety of farmers, employees of various procurement agencies, Mandi board and Market Committees, labourers and Arhtiyas. 3,972 grain markets have been notified for the same," the Chairman Mandi Board said.
Notably, in Punjab, the target for wheat production, as per estimates, was 177 LMT out of which 130 LMT would reach the grain markets. During last season, 128 LMT wheat had been procured successfully despite the Covid pandemic and 17.39 lakh passes had been issued to the farmers through arhtiyas.
The Chairman further said that the farmers have been suggested to store the wheat at their homes/farm stores for shorter durations in order to avoid rush in the grain markets keeping in view the Covid situation. Besides the facilities being provided by the Mandi Board, arhtiyas would also provide sanitisers and masks to the farmers.
He also appealed to the farmers, arhtiyas, labourers and other persons engaged in the procurement process to adopt all the safety measures such as washing hands, wearing masks and maintain physical distancing.
"If anyone would have symptoms like fever, throat pain, difficulty in breathing etc, he should avoid visiting procurement centres and consult Doctor without any delay," said Lal Singh.
He also informed that Punjab Mandi Board has established a control room at its head office to facilitate the farmers and arhtiyas and they would also be able to contact control rooms set up at their concerned district headquarters in case of any problem. (ANI)