Several cash crops farmers in Mizoram are facing inconvenience due to the absence of market following the 21-day nationwide lockdown.

This was said by the state agriculture minister C Lalrinsanga during a video conference with the union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Wednesday.

An official statement in Thursday stated, “Lalrinsanga informed Tomar that oil palm growers in the state have incurred a loss to the tune of Rs 25- 30 lakh due to lockdown.”

Lalrisanga further said that the farmers could not sell their produce due to the shutting down of Godrej Agrovet Private Limited mill, which used to purchase oil palm from Mizoram.

The private mill was closed due to the ongoing lockdown.

Lalrinsanga asked Tomar to approve minimum support price for oil palm growers, which was proposed by the state government in September last year.

Lalrinsanga said that growers of other cash crops like ginger, turmeric and sugarcane also faced hardship as they could not harvest their produce due to absence of labourers.

They were unable to expert their harvest due to the nationwide lockdown imposed to break the chain of novel coronavirus spread, he said.

Lalrinsanga  informed the conference, which was attended by all states agriculture and supply minister in the presence

The minister also said that externally aided projects like FOCUS funded by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and  Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) could not be commenced due to the ongoing lockdown.

Lalrinsanga also informed the meeting that states farmers were allowed to sow seeds in their jhum lands since March 30.

Among others, he also pointed out about the lunch of farmers’ helpline and implementation of the vegetable supply chain during the lockdown.

The Mizoram government on Thursday launched two more tasks groups- “task group on media and publicity” and “task group on documentation” in the wake of the outbreak of novel coronavirus.

Headed by information and public information secretary Sangdingliana, the task group on media and publicity will work on collection and compilation of official statement and news related to COVID-19. It will also prepare daily bulletin on COVID-19.

Task group on documentation will be headed by planning secretary Vanlalramsanga as chairman. The task group is tasked with documentation of all government measures to contain the spread of novel coronavirus.

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