The Nagaland agriculture department on Wednesday advised the farmers of the state to avoid field-level contagious spread of COVID19 during farming activities.

An advisory issued by the agriculture directorate said four to five feet space or line assigning of one strip to one farmer or labour should be maintained during manual field operations. This will ensure adequate spacing between the engaged labourers by maintaining social distancing, it said.

The department asked all the farmers to compulsorily use surgical mask or double layered scarf that adequately covers the nose and mouth.

They have also been told to ensure hand washing with soap and water frequently and wash cloths after use every day.

The farmers were advised to maintain safe distance of three to four feet during rests and while taking meals and not to share meal with each other.

They were advised to drink plenty of water during farm operations to avoid dehydration.

The farmers have been also asked to plan all the field activities in phased manner wherever possible and avoid engaging more number of farmers on the same day in any farm.

The farmers were also told to engage only the healthy farmers or labourers to the extent possible and after reasonable enquiry so as to avoid the entry of any likely carrier of COVID19 during field activity.

All agricultural tools/implements or any other items used by one farmer should be sanitised and should not be exchanged in any manner, the advisory said.

The farmers have been asked to follow the standard safety guidelines during the visit to market for purchase of farm inputs or sale of products and avoid crowded areas.

The department advised the farmers to stay in their respective farms till the agriculture/agronomic practices are completed if the farming operations require days to complete in order to save time and for their safety and their families.

The farmers have been asked to consult or contact the district agriculture officer/sub-divisional agriculture officer/ATMAs of their district or sub-division for any further advisories/queries.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com