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Except for select vegetables and off-season crops, no crop is seeded or harvested, according to NITI Aayog member Ramesh Chand. Ramesh Chand, a member of the Niti Aayog's Agriculture Committee, claimed on Sunday that the second COVID-19 wave would have little impact on the Indian agriculture industry since infections spread in rural regions in May when agriculture activity was at a bare minimum.
Chand told PTI that India's policies on subsidy, pricing, and technology have favored rice, wheat, and sugarcane too much and that the procurement and minimum support price policies should be more favorable to pulses.
"COVID-19 cases started spreading in the rural areas in the month of May, with the beginning of the month of May, and agriculture activity in the month of May is bare minimal particularly land-based activities," he noted.
"...it (May) is a peak summer month, and no crop is sown, no crop is harvested except little bit vegetables and some off-season crops," Chand further said.
Agriculture activity, according to Chand, spikes in March or April, then drops substantially before peaking again with the coming of the monsoon. "So even if less availability of labor is there in the month of May till mid-June, I don't think that will impact agriculture in any way," Chand said.
When questioned why India is not self-sufficient in pulses production, he responded that increasing the area under irrigation for pulses will make a significant impact on output and price stability.
He went on to say, "In India, our subsidy policy, pricing policy, and technology policy have favored rice, wheat, and sugarcane much too much. As a result, I am certain that, in addition to technological advancements, we must make our procurement, as well as our MSP, more favorable for pulses."
Source - mint