In a major boost to the agriculture sector, Jammu and Kashmir administration led by Lt. Governor Girish Chander Murmu has decided that the production of wheat across the Union Territory will be procured by Food Corporation of India and will be done in Jammu and Kashmir only.
Speaking Exclusively to Republic Media Network, Lt. Governor GC Murmu said, "For agriculture, we made arrangements for procurement through FCI (Food Corporation of India). Whole production of wheat will be procured here only. We have made arrangements for harvesters from Punjab to ensure smooth harvesting as there were fewer labourers available. Agriculture activities which contribute to almost 30% of the GDP have remained unaffected due to the Coronavirus pandemic".
Murmu further added that situation is under control. Seven districts are coronavirus free and cases are concentrated in few hotspots and that too with travel history and their contacts.
''We are conducting targeted testing of hotspot areas and elderly people. Due to aggressive testing, few cases are coming into light, the doubling rate is less as compared to other states. We have managed to control the curve till now; the only cure is maximum testing and timely detection," he added.
Hailing PM Modi's decision to impose lockdown, Murmu said, "PM Modi's timely lockdown announcement helped break the coronavirus chain, resulting in fewer cases. We have red zones here and those areas will continue to be under restrictions even if the lockdown ends on May 3. There will be further relaxation in the lockdown norms depending on the guidelines issued by the Centre.''
Highlighting the need to increase testing, Murmu told Republic Media Network that testing can further be increased. "We have Rapid testing kits and procuring RNA Extraction message which will help in doubling testing rates within days. In delegation of powers and at time of emergency, procurement is not the problem, but availability is. We have to import some items. In India, manufacturing of PPE and ventilators needs to be accelerated.'' He further added that seven medical colleges are at the implementation level; 4 in Jammu and 3 in Kashmir. Two AIIMS like institutions are also coming up.