Covid 19: Agriculture Department issues directions regarding harvesting
Directs that combine harvesters and labour to be sanitised regularly
During harvesting crops, social distancing a must between workers
Ludhiana: The harvesting of wheat crop in Punjab is to start soon and in view of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic, the Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department has issued some directions for the farmers. Dr Narinder Singh Benipal, Chief Agriculture Officer, Ludhiana, has appealed to the farmers to strictly follow all directions of the Punjab government in view of COVID 19.
He informed that the combine harvesters that are entering Punjab from other states, they should be sanitised with sodium hypochlorite immediately after the enter our state. He said that those areas of the combine that have been touched by people, they should be properly sanitised.
Similarly, the operators/staff of the combine harvesters should get himself checked by the health department and if any worker is having fever, dry cough, difficulty in breathing, then they should follow all directions of the health department and should not be allowed to work on the combine. He said that they can also contact helpline number 104 for further details.
He stated that as the combines travel from village to village for harvesting of wheat crop, the operators/staff of these combines should give special emphasis towards their personal hygiene. He said that ample quantity of sanitisers should be kept on the combine so that those parts of the combine that have been touched by people, they should be sanitised when the combine is either not operational or is to go to another village. He said that when the workers have to keep sanitising their hands at several times during the day.
Dr Benipal said that the operators/staff should keep a minimum distance of one meter with farmers and farm labour and they should neither shake hands or hug each other. He said that the operators/staff of combines would have to wear masks at all times, besides as they would travel from village to village, they should not be allowed to stay inside a particular village and their stay should be arranged at such a place which is far from the village.
Dr Narinder Singh Benipal informed that to ensure that all these directions are strictly followed, all staff of the Agriculture Department have been issued necessary directions, besides they are also making the farmers aware about them. He said that the farmers who can store the harvested wheat in their homes, they should store it for as long as they can and should sell it in the Mandis only when there is less number of people there. He said that such farmers should first speak to their arhtiyas (commission agents) and take proper time as to when the crop is to be brought to the Mandis and each trolley should not have more than two persons at one time, should wash their hands at all times in the mandi and should sanitise their tractor/trolley regularly.
He informed that the farmers who have to prepare wheat husk by harvesting the wheat crop manually, they should follow social distancing while harvesting the crop, the labour should have their faces covered.