Exemptions have been granted to the agricultural sector during the curfew period, March 28 to April 14.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has announced that all poultry farmers and processors will be allowed to respond to alarms, emergencies and to check on their hatcheries, between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Chicken catchers will be permitted on the farms from 5 a.m., but should not be on site no later than 6 p.m., while the slaughtering of birds will be allowed between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Suppliers (farm and garden shops) of agricultural inputs, such as seeds, spraying equipment, herbicides, potting mixes, seedlings, etc., will be allowed to operate between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., while wholesalers, distributors and retailers of animal feed will be permitted to operate between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Additionally, the Ministry has advised agricultural workers employed in areas which require them to be on the road during restricted hours, for example poultry and dairy farm workers, that they must be in possession of an emergency pass.
The pass will be issued by the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology to only persons who must work during the 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.
Operators of farms are asked to designate an individual to submit the following information of essential agricultural employees on their behalf: full names, job titles, addresses, national registration numbers, mobile phone numbers, email addresses, vehicle numbers, and names of the farming operations. The persons authorised to do so must also provide their names, titles and contact information.
This information should be emailed to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Terry Bascombe at email@example.com, or the Chief Agricultural Officer, Leslie Brereton at firstname.lastname@example.org. (PR)