Bhubaneswar: Odisha Agriculture and Farmers Empowerment Department minister Arun Kumar Sahoo has directed nodal officers of 30 districts to be proactive as the Rabi crop season is underway and preparation for Kharif season has started.
It may be mentioned here that the Centre, as well as the Odisha Government, has relaxed lockdown norms for agriculture-related activities.
The Odisha Agriculture Minister said that the nodal officers will be in constant touch with the area level officers so that any form of issues arising in the agriculture sector can be addressed on time. He also instructed to expedite the monitoring mechanism.
Presiding over a meeting at Krushi Bhawan here today said that a roadmap has been prepared to ensure smooth and uninterrupted agriculture-related activities in the state amid lockdown.
Sahoo said: “Social distance is a must while carrying out farming. The issues which have come up due to lockdown should be addressed at the earliest so that farming activities can resume normally”.
The nodal officers will connect with the Chief District Agriculture Officer, Deputy Director Horticulture and Project Director of Water Division on a regular basis. Besides, the senior officials will need to keep officers of the Sub-division, Block and Panchayat level in the loop, said Sahoo and added that the officers have been asked to submit reports on a daily basis through WhatsApp.
The Minister also asked them to contact the Control Room opened by the district administration when needed and keep constant coordination with other departments. He also asked them to directly contact traders, wholesellers, and shopkeepers to ensure the sale of fruits and vegetables at markets easily.
Minister Sahoo also stressed on the extensive use of technology and WhatsApp groups for reporting purposes in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
It may be mentioned here that 30 senior officers have been appointed by the Odisha Government for monitoring agriculture and related activities in 30 districts of the state.
During the meeting, Agriculture Secretary Saurabh Garg advised the officials concerned to keep track on the market situation across the country and take steps for sale of agricultural produce of the state, accordingly.
Garg also stressed that the farmers should make ample use of ‘Ama Krushi’ helpline in this current situation. Necessary steps are being taken to provide information on farming and market situations to the farmers through this service, he added
“For the sale of farm products and transportation, there is no restriction. So, the department should work in a dedicated manner to facilitate the sale of farm products,” concluded Garg.
Present in the meeting were Special Secretary to Agriculture and Farmers Empowerment Department, Suresh Kumar Vashishth, Director Agriculture & Food Production, Dr M Muthukumar.