In view of the prevention of corona virus infection, the lockdown continued across the country from Tuesday night due to traffic and transportation difficulties and labor shortage, stalled in major grain markets of various states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and other states. Suresh Aggarwal, president of All India Dal Mill Association, said that the supply chain has been disrupted due to the closure of the grain markets of the country, which may lead to shortage of all food items including flour, rice and lentils in the coming days. He said that about 80 percent of the pulses of the country are closed at this time, so the government should take initiative in this direction.

Market sources said that the producing markets of all the states including Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra are closed. However, the Central Government has made it clear in the guidelines issued on lockdown that there will be no restriction on the purchase of agricultural products and farming related activities and supply of essential commodities.

Jeans businessman of Madhya Pradesh Sandeep Sarda said that almost all mandis of Ujjain, Indore and Mandsaur are closed due to problems of transport and labor. The imprisonment of Shahjahanpur Anaj Mandi in Uttar Pradesh also said that there is no clarity from the local administration about the opening of the market. He said that the work in the grain markets will start only when the local administration takes initiative in this direction.

Jeans businessman Uttam Jethwani of Bundi Grain Mandi, Rajasthan said that the Grain Mandis of the state are closed till April 3, but even after opening, it will not be allowed to go to the nearby market.

Another trader said that the mandi administration in Rajasthan had decided to keep the grain market closed till April 3, keeping safety in mind as social distancing in the mandris i.e. maintaining distance among the mandis is a difficult task.

Work is also at a standstill in the Lawrence Road Grain Market in Delhi due to labor and transportation problems. Jeans traders said that there is no shortage of wheat in FCI godowns, but trucks and laborers will be needed to reach the flour mill from there.

Suresh Aggarwal said that he has written a letter to the Central Government regarding the problems arising out of the closure of pulses. The harvesting season of all the rabi season crops including wheat, gram and mustard is going on and wheat, gram and mustard have started arriving in Madhya Pradesh long back. With the closure of the grain markets, on one hand, farmers are having trouble selling crops, while the supply chain of food items will also be affected.

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