New Delhi: The nationwide lockdown to prevent coronavirus spread has majorly hit the agriculture produce markets of almost all the states.
President of All India Dal Mill Association Suresh Aggarwal told IANS that the supply has been disrupted due to the closure of the country’s agriculture produce markets, which could lead to shortage of all food items, including flour, rice and lentils in the coming days.
He said the government must look into the matter as almost 80 per cent dal mills were closed due to the lockdown.
Sources said the agriculture produce markets of all the states, including Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra were closed.
However, as per the guidelines issued by the Central government regarding the lockdown, there was no restriction on the purchase of agriculture products and supply of essential commodities.
Sandeep Sarda, a trader from Madhya Pradesh, said almost all markets of the states, including Ujjain, Indore and Mandsaur lack of transportation and labour.
A trader from Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur agriculture market said there was no clarity from the administration about opening of the market. The work in the markets would start only when the administration gives some clear directions.
Uttam Jethwani, a trader from Bundi agriculture market in Rajasthan, said although the agriculture produce markets of the state were closed till April 3, but even after they open no one without the pass will be allowed to enter the markets.
Another trader said the market administration in Rajasthan had decided to keep the markets closed till April 3 as it was difficult to ensure social distancing between the workers here.
The operations at the Lawrence Road agriculture produce market of Delhi was halted due to lack of transportation and labour. Traders said there is no shortage of wheat in FCI godowns but trucks and labourers are required to send it to the flour mills.
Suresh Aggarwal said that he has written a letter to the Central government regarding the problems due to closure of the pulse markets.
The harvesting season of all the rabi crops, including wheat, gram and mustard was going on and wheat, gram and mustard have started reaching the markets of Madhya Pradesh. Due to the closure of markets, not only farmers were facing problems in selling their produce, but the supply of food items was also getting affected.