The Union Agriculture Ministry on Thursday laid down the usual working process (SOP) to information farmers on security precautions that must be strictly adopted throughout planting of kharif crops amid the specter of COVID-19 pandemic.
Paddy is the primary kharif (summer time) crop, moreover pulses, oilseeds and business crops like cotton and sugarcane. The sowing of kharif crops has already begun in some components. “Transplanting of paddy and vegetables are labour-intensive activities. Hence, strictly follow guidelines on social distancing, sanitizing and wearing masks,” as per the SOP launched by the ministry in the course of the nationwide video convention on kharif crops.
Farm staff ought to wash their fingers, legs and face with cleaning soap when popping out of the sector for meal or relaxation, it stated.
For making ready land for sowing of kharif crops, the ministry stated farmers ought to minimise labour and use tractor pushed machineries. Farmers ought to use seed-cum-fertiliser drills and scale back the variety of staff within the subject.
As per the SOP, social distancing and sanitization norms must be adopted throughout subject preparation, sowing and fertiliser utility. “Maintain social distance at least 1-2 metre during farm operations. Workers should be assigned separate duties with regard to farm activities,” it stated.
“All farm equipment from seed drill, plough to tractor should be sanitized before use. Those working in the farm field should wear masks or cover their face with three layers of “chunnis, gamchha or towel,” it added. Each employee ought to have a separate utensil and clear it with cleaning soap after use, it stated.
For different operations like weeding and spraying of fertilisers/pesticides, the ministry stated farmers or staff should observe all protocols of social distancing and sanitize the tools. “Burn or bury in soil empty packets of pesticides. Sun dry empty bags of seeds, fertilisers for two days for re-use,” the ministry stated.
The ministry additionally talked about that after the day’s work, farmers ought to tub and wash garments with cleaning soap and varied.
For harvesting of rabi crops, the ministry stated farmers ought to favor mechanised harvesting and threshing, and keep 4-5 metres social distancing throughout harvesting, threshing, packaging, consuming and resting.
Farmers have been requested to maintain farm produce in open, ideally below solar for 48 hours earlier than storing.
Agriculture and allied actions have been exempted from the lockdown imposed to stop the unfold of coronavirus.