Amaravati, April 30 (IANS) The Andhra Pradesh government has issued orders allowing toddy tapping in the state. The orders enabling toddy tappers to earn their livelihood, were issued by R. Karikal Valavan, special chief secretary to the state government, in the name of the Andhra Pradesh Governor.
The COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent lockdown had put the brakes on toddy tapping activities of around 4 lakh people in the state. The demand for the naturally brewed liquor peaks in the summer months, and the toddy-tapper community have been in the lurch due to the lockdown.
The order, issued on Wednesday, comes in the wake of relaxation of lockdown regulations for agriculture and horticulture operations, in the guidelines issued by the central government for containment of COVID-19.
The state government decided to allow toddy tapping while adhering to physical distancing and other norms prescribed in the COVID-19 protocols.
The decision to allow toddy tapping comes in response to a representation made to the state government, by the managing director of the AP Toddy Tappers Cooperative Finance Corporation Ltd.
“Government, after careful consideration, hereby instruct the District Collectors/Managing Director, A.P. Toddy Tappers Cooperative Finance Corporation Ltd., Vijayawada, to enable the Toddy Tappers for conducting Toddy Tapping operations, during the period of COVID-19 Lockdown duly following physical distancing norms and other measures as enshrined in the COVID-19 protocol”, the order said.
The move brings respite for toddy tappers, especially in the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh, where the community taps toddy from palmyra trees.