context: Despite limited ‘relaxation’, farmers and other players along ag supply chains are still facing tedious administrative procedures during the critical spring planting window. Farming has to be completely outsourced in places with the strictest quarantine measures.

MARA (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs) released its guidelines on coordinating epidemic control and spring ag production. Ag-producing regions are classified into

  • pandemic-free regions: no restrictions on farming
  • regions with COVID-19 cases nearby
    • farmers should main social distancing when working in the field
    • the numbers of frontline workers in greenhouses, animal farms and ag processing factories are restricted
    • ag input markets, stores and ag processing factories should maintain normal operations with regular health monitoring of workers and customers
    • ag machinery drivers can serve nearby fields
  • regions close to homes or workplaces of infected people
    • the whole village should pass COVID-19 testing before villagers are allowed to return to the fields
    • farmers should maintain social distancing and monitor their body temperature when operating in the field; they are under ‘closed-loop’ management between home and farm
    • the number of frontline workers in greenhouses, animal farms and ag processing factories is restricted
    • ag input producers can maintain normal operations if they meet pandemic control requirements; buyers can only order online or by phone
    • ag machinery drivers can only conduct necessary operations
  • regions with homes or workplaces of infected people
    • farmers cannot leave their homes until the whole region is qualified to relax restrictions
    • ag service providers will be commissioned by the village to work in the fields
    • ag input producers are allowed to maintain basic operation if they meet pandemic control requirements
    • animal farms, feed and veterinary drug producers and slaughterhouses are allowed to maintain basic operations if they meet pandemic control requirements
    • ag processing factories are allowed to maintain basic operations if they meet pandemic control requirements