The government has directed the deputy commissioners to add mango, litchi and vegetables to the list of relief items for the destitute to tackle the Covid-19 situation.
The Disaster Management and Relief Affairs Ministry on Thursday came up with the direction while allocating Tk 6.30 crore and 9,750 tonnes of rice to the deputy commissioners of 64 districts to operate the ongoing relief activities during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the direction, the ministry said, "Vegetables, mangoes and litchis can be bought and distributed as relief items." Besides, the ministry also said each relief recipient may be requested to plant at least five trees.
On May 16, Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque in a virtual meeting with experts, business leaders and economists had requested the authorities concerned for marketing seasonal fruits and agricultural products, including mangoes and litchis, during this time of crisis.
The meeting had also decided to include mangoes, litchis and other fruits along with essential items as relief so that the growers do not have to worry about their summer fruits due to the transport crisis amid shutdown.
The meeting also said poor people who had lost their jobs due to Covid-19, will also get nutrition if seasonal fruits are included in the relief items.
Later, the Ministry of Agriculture sent a letter to the ministries concerned, requesting them to include seasonal fruits in the relief materials.