In a relief for farmers hit by the coronavirus lockdown, all Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) in Gujarat will resume operations from Wednesday (April 15) onwards with a special focus on social distancing and avoiding crowding, the state government said on Tuesday.
Majority of APMCs across Gujarat have been shut since the national lockdown was announced on March 24. Now, the lockdown restrictions have been extended till May 3 as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“To avoid crowding at such market yards, a committee will be formed in each district to guide farmers as well as traders,” said Ashwani Kumar, secretary to the chief minister.
Each committee will be chaired by the district registrar and include chairman of respective APMC among its members.
“Farmers willing to sell their produce need to first register themselves with the committee, which will then ask a specific number of farmers to visit the market yard on a specific date with just a sample of their agricultural produce. This will enable us to enforce social distancing, as only a limited number of farmers will remain present on a given date,” Kumar told reporters.
“After inspecting the samples, traders will place orders with farmers,” he said.
Kumar said that instead of asking a farmer to bring his entire produce to an APMC, the trader concerned will collect it from his farm.
“Alternatively, farmers can transport the produce to godowns of traders. This will eliminate the possibility of crowding at market yards,” Kumar added.