Covid-19 has lessons for society, no less so in the field of agriculture, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Umiam’s Acting Director Basant Kumar Kandapal has said.
With world trade curtailed due to the pandemic, the importance of food security, ie, growing food locally has come to the fore.
“Agricultural challenges in times of Covid-19 have taught us three lessons,” Kandapal said. “You cannot import food from outside but, instead, it should be grown locally. We must utilise our own resources optimally so that we can produce on our own as we cannot import from outside because of the ongoing pandemic.”
Local production will provide employment and help the economy, he added.
However, states like Meghalaya are lagging behind in agricultural-related activities, the ICAR scientist said.
“Here we have no markets for seed, fertilizer, chemicals like we do on the mainland. We don’t have such markets because out here everything is provided free to the farmers. How will markets develop when farmers rely and wait for the government?” he asked.
Kandapal also felt that the national employment guarantee scheme could be used to improve agriculture in the State through the development of land, construction of dams and creation of ponds so that “we need not import [fish] from Andhra Pradesh.”
“Lessons from Covid-19 will help revive the economy and employment,” he concluded.
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