Guidelines by Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare for Prevention of COVID 19 spread during Crop Harvesting and Threshing

Guidelines by Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare for Prevention of COVID 19 spread during Crop Harvesting and Threshing, guidelines for crop harvesting and threshing, Guidelines for Coronavirus prevention, Kharif 2020
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In view of the spread of COVID 19 (Coronavirus) across the country, the following guidelines have been issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare for crop harvesting and threshing during Kharif 2020 to protect the health of farmers and the farm workers and to contain the spread of the virus through these agricultural operations to consumers.

  • Harvesting of crops should be done through mechanized harvesters as far as possible to involve fewer farm workers in the field. If harvesting is to be done by hand-operated equipment like sickles etc., sanitize these with soap water at least three times a day.

  • During harvesting, social distancing has to be compulsorily maintained. A person to person distance of at least 1-2 meters must be maintained while harvesting the crop, eating meals or otherwise. Each worker should have separate utensils for eating and clean these with soap after use.

  • Every farm worker has to bring his separate bottles/utensils for drinking water and these should not be shared with others.

  • Every worker must bring his implements or be provided with separate implements and workers should never be allowed to exchange the implements.

  • During the harvesting operations, workers should wash hands intermittently and avoid touching nose, mouth and eyes without washing.

  • Farmers must ensure availability of soap and clean water in ample quantity at the farm.

  • Wearing of the mask during farm operations is mandatory. In the absence of mask, use chunnis, gamchas, towels or other fine clothes and cover nose and mouth with three folds of these. The traditional practice of covering nose and mouth with suitable clothes during farm operations will be useful here also.

  • All the clothes used for a day, should not be worn the next day. These clothes should be washed with soap and sun-dried before use next time.

  • If a person is having a cough, running nose, fever and headache, he needs to be isolated and send to the doctor/dispensary for a medical check-up immediately. He/She should not be involved in the operation and kept separately.

  • Similar to harvesting, all the precautions relating to social distancing, sanitizing, cleanliness, use of mask etc. have to be strictly adhered to during threshing also.

  • Ensure that farm produce does not come in contact with land/soil. No one should spit on the surface near threshing.

  • Transport and agricultural machinery like a tractor, mini-tractor, trolley, combine harvester, thresher, other small equipment, container, plastic sheet/tripal, gunny bags etc. should be properly sanitized before use.

  • Workers/farmers must wear mask, clean hands with soap, wear gloves and maintain social distancing during packaging of fruit and vegetables.

  • Proper sanitization of containers (crates, papers, bags, ropes) for packaging of fruit and vegetables has to be compulsory carried out. Fruits and vegetables need to be washed properly with clean water before packing.

  • Cut and damaged fruits/vegetables should be kept separately and should not be packed.

  • Farmers must properly sanitize common toilets and washbasins for the use of workers.

  • Farm produce should be kept outside for 48 hours preferably in the sunshine before storage in Home.

In addition, common guidelines issued for the region by local authorities to contain the spread of Corona and general hygiene procedures need to adhere strictly.

You can look out for more Guidelines for Coronavirus prevention issued by various departments of the Government of India.

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