Apr , 2020, Volume : 1 Article : 12

Effect of Novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Outbreak on Indian Agriculture: An overview through News Reports amid Nationwide Lockdown

Author : Saikat Maji, Shantanu Rakshit and Dinata Roy


The new pandemic COVID-19 is now creating havoc throughout the world. In India, though the rate of infection is still slow but the effect arising from the pandemic is gradually entrenching into the economic system. As a preventive measure, the Indian government has initially ordered a 21 days lockdown from 25th March to 14th April across the country which has further extended with little modification considering the severity of the pandemic as well as problems faced by the common people. In this crosshair the farming sector in India is one of the most vulnerable sector to bear the burn of the pandemic and it requires immediate intervention at the level of policy, research as well as technology dissemination to fend of the negative impact agriculture sector is facing or about to face due to COVID-19 fallout. This article is an effort to summarize the situation related to the farm sector through the cases available on news reports. Farmers are experiencing low demand, price drop of perishable items, difficulty in sending products to market, labour shortage for farm operation, hardship in harvesting of Rabi crops, rotting of vegetables on the field, trouble in purchase and repair of farm equipment, etc. Due to the crisis in the USA, Europe, China, Iran and other major importers, the scope of agricultural export is also very limited. The government has taken several steps to ease the life of farmers like direct monetary support, relaxation to agriculture and allied activities, promoting direct marketing, utilizing ICT for farm advisory, promote mechanized harvesting and social distancing. It will be too early to conclude the actual impact of COVID-19 on the agricultural sector. Comprehensive and precise assessments of the impacts of COVID-19 on agriculture and food systems are necessary and the assessment approach should carefully consider the gender dimensions, food security, labor, health and vulnerability.

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The agriculture and food sectors are an economic mainstay of India. According to statistical data available, the share of agriculture in India`s total workforce was 43.21 per cent in 2019 (World Bank, 2020). Of the total agricultural workforce in India, 45.1 per cent are cultivators (farmers with land or self-employed in agriculture) and the rest 54.9 per cent agricultural labourer (or landless) (Directorate of Economics & Statistics, 2017). Learning from the past and similar pandemic situation, restrictions on the movement people and good can have significant socio-economic repercussions on people`s livelihoods, going beyond the direct impact on health, and affecting the most vulnerable groups. Thus, 92 million cultivators will bear the direct effect primarily in terms of economic loss due to difficulty to harvest and if harvested inability to find market during lockdown. Whereas for rest 112 million landless agricultural labourer, with no or minimal harvesting or sowing work and given minute possibility of the rural employment guarantee scheme (MGNREGS) work coming to their rescue anytime soon, they may face the hard reality of starvation. Though govt. has started its effort to somehow alleviate the suffering of people through a number of measure but the burn will be there in farming sector along with other sector of the Indian economy. The vulnerability of agriculture sector is more given the time of the pandemic as this is the beginning of the Rabi harvest season. With the monitoring agencies predicting a severe global recession and a slowdown in growth of GDP the situation of farming sector may become gloomy. But within these all predicted negative some ray of hope may also be there in terms of some unexpected opportunities before the agriculture sector. With the limited news reports coming out of the fields and all experts behind the close door of the home in a nation under lockdown in this article authors have tried to summarize the situation related to farm sector through the cases from available news reports. Though the long term positive and negative impacts will only be visible once the COVID-19 pandemic come to an end but the present happening can adequately hints towards the future situation.

Darkness approached: economic loss mounting

Case 1: Tough time for cumin farmers in Rajasthan and Gujarat:
India accounts for 70 per cent of global cumin seed production with a production of 687 thousand tonnes. Gujarat and Rajasthan are the major producers, accounting for around 56 per cent and 44 per cent of total production, respectively. India consumes 90 per cent of this produce domestically whereas, rest exported to Europe and China. Given the incident of large scale locust outbreak this season and subsequent spraying of chemical pesticides like organophosphates to deal with locusts, the possibilities of exports to Europe was already bleak as European countries have high standards for chemical residues. After Europe, China is the biggest market. But China is reeling under the COVID-19 outbreak thus leaving little option for export. With easing of COVID-19 infection in China and hope of fending off the disease at initial stage only in India with pre-emptive measure taken by government the light of hope is still there as cumin can be stored for relatively longer period of time. Exports of castor oil from Gujarat have also been hit and can recover in similar way.

Case 2: Prices of agricultural commodities drop 20 per cent post COVID-19 outbreak:
As the rumours about closure of markets and attempts to create artificial shortages increasing over confusion, prices of agricultural commodities especially perishable vegetables, grapes and sugar have fallen 15-20 per cent on an average. This is also because bulk demand from hotels and restaurants has nosedived and there is uncertainty over exports. More troublesome aspect, as reported from various part of the country, is that the fall of prices are more evident in case of farm gate rather than in consumer market thus affecting the farmers most rather than traders. Onion demand has fallen by 30-40 per cent due to closure of hotels, restaurants and roadside eateries following the countrywide lockdown. Farmers of Nashik district are in a hurry to sell onion especially of late Kharif variety due to fear of spoilage. As most market yards remaining closed, farmers have pushed their supplies to Vinchur mandi-Asia`s largest spot onion selling market yard. As a result, model onion prices have fallen to as low as Rs 6/ kg while poor quality slipped to Rs 3 / kg, as quoted by agricultural produce market committee (APMC) on 6th April.

Case 3: Livelihood of Odisha’s tribal Mahua flower collectors under threat:
The minor forest produce (MFP) trade in summer helps tribals add to their modest supplemental income. In Odisha trading of mahua flowers (Madhuca longifolia) in summers is one of the major sources of livelihood of tribal people. Mahua, in general, is synonymous with an alcoholic beverage popular in tribal zones of many states. But the tribals also prepare cakes, jams and other food items from the flowers after drying it. However, the lockdown imposed in the wake of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has hurt the trade and disrupted tribal economy. It is not possible for collectors to collect the flowers from forests as many villagers barricaded the entry points of their villages. Additionally, with the lockdown, finding buyers as well as transporting flowers has become a challenge.

Case 4: Sleepless night for flower farmers as marriages are being cancelled:
Growers of expensive flowers such as gerbera, gladioli and bird of paradise are worried after weddings that typically generate the bulk of demand have been postponed. Bulk of their earnings comes from the summer season, but sales have stalled during this crucial period. Even the growers of more common flower like marigold, Jasmine in Varanasi are in distress. Though most of their flower produced are utilized in the countless temple in the Holy city but demand from temples are also minimum due to the no arrival of pilgrims. The ITC hub nearby which used to produce incense stick from the used flower unable to absorb the vast produce farmers have in their current capacity as unit is also struggling to keep its operation live in the absence of labour supply.

Case 5: Export of king of fruit hit even at starting of season, farmers affected:
Out of the total production of mangoes in India, nearly 40 per cent is sent to foreign countries. With the mango season just starting, the fruit is in great demand in the Gulf, European countries and America. However, due to the novel coronavirus outbreak traders are unable to send mangoes. Mangoes bring a lot of revenue from foreign countries. Also, if something is not done, the prices of mangoes will crash and directly affect farmers and traders due to oversupply in domestic market.

Walking in dark: supply chain about to break down

Case 6: As farmers fail to find buyers vegetable, fruit crops are being burned down or left to rot in Karnataka:
Supply-chain distortion of farm produce owing to the lockdown over COVID-19 has hurt both farmers and consumers. In Tumakuru farmers who grew muskmelon have no access to labour for harvesting and no transportation facilities to take it to the market. Thus, the produce was left to rot in the field. In Belagavi, farmers ploughed through their cabbage field to get rid of their whole unsold product. At Kodagu, a farmer threw a truckload of chillies on to the street, while, over the last one week, several tomato growers dumped their harvest on the streets at the markets after it fetched only a pittance and there were no buyers in Kolar, Mandya and Tumakuru districts. Age-old developmental problems like lack of capacity development among local workforce for specialized agricultural operations, lack of cold chain now affecting the whole agricultural operation manifold in the time of pandemic.

Case 7: Cows get strawberry treat in Maharashtra as farmers fail to sell premium produce amid lockdown:
The sudden drop in demand for premium fruits and vegetable like strawberry, broccoli, etc. is hurting millions of farmers in the world’s second-most populous country, with novel coronavirus cases surging. Tourists and ice cream producers are the main buyers of strawberries, but there are no tourists now due to COVID-19 fear and lockdown. Demand for such premium farm produce typically jumps in the summer. But with India’s farm supply chain in disarray, farmers are unable to get goods to market to serve the minimal demand which is still there. In this condition to get rid of the produce some farmers in Maharashtra had even asked nearby villagers to come collect his fruit for free, but few turned up. So, some of its cattle are getting treated to strawberries and broccoli that farmers are struggling to transport and sell in cities amid the lockdown. Similarly, farmers of exotic vegetables like basil, iceberg lettuce and bok choy, etc. who rely on upmarket restaurants to sell, now making manure out of these exotic vegetables as fellow villagers won’t take away the vegetables even for free. Similar is the fate for the grape also. Indian grapes are also exported to Europe, which has sharply cut purchases in the past few weeks as the virus takes a heavy toll there. A farmer near India’s IT hub of Bengaluru, dumped 15 tonnes of grapes in a nearby forest after failing to sell them - he had spent 500,000 rupees on his crop.

Case 8: Indian rice exports suspended as lockdown disrupts supply chain:
Unlike many perishable fruits, vegetables and dairy products, which are facing a price drop problem or left to rot amid shortage of buyers, the Indian staple grain rice, wheat have found themselves in safer side due to increasing demand in domestic market. But this apparently happy picture is not true for all the rice farmers especially who produce export quality rice. About 400,000 tonnes of non-basmati rice and 100,000 tonnes of basmati rice, meant for March-April delivery, are either stuck at ports or in the pipeline due to the lockdown, exporters said. As Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar curbed their rice exports, demand for Indian rice surged. But Indian rice traders have stopped signing new export contracts amid the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of novel coronavirus, as labour shortages and logistics disruptions have hampered the delivery of even existing contracts. The halt in exports from the world`s biggest exporter is allowing rival countries such as Thailand to raise shipments in the short term and lift global prices, forcing millions of poor consumers in Africa to pay higher prices. India is likely to produce 117.47 million tonnes of rice in 2019-20 against an annual consumption of about 100 million tonnes, with state inventories at 31 million tonnes. If the lockdown is extended, or the pandemic spreads among key buying nations, denting demand, India’s rice industry could suffer major losses in future also.

Case 9: Sales and service of farm equipment in despair amid lockdown amid confusion over policy implementation:
Farmers would require the need of service centres to get their tractors and other equipment repaired as crops such as wheat and gram are ready for harvest across major parts of North India. Moreover, equipment such as threshers, which are used only during the harvest season, needs maintenance before they could be put to use. Also, some farmers would like to buy some new equipment or spares to carry their harvest and the subsequent sowing operations. The Centre has exempted farm inputs such as fertilisers, seeds and pesticides from lockdown along with inter- and intra-state movement of farm machineries such as combine harvesters. But, the implementation of the order is poor on the ground. As a result, people are not allowed to run their sales and service centres. So, it requires immediate attention from policymaker to enable farmers to carry out harvesting and subsequent new sowing.

Walking in dark: chickened out by the virus

Case 10: Chicken can act as carrier of COVID-19 transmission: a rumour that hit hard the poultry industry throughout India:
Novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic hit Indian poultry sector even before lockdown in the form of rumors on social media. With the speculation spread like a bonfire through social media platforms in India over possible avian links to the deadly COVID-19 disease, poultry farmers caught in crossfire all of certain. The rumour of bird flu also added up to the mess. Millions of small poultry farmers across the country are reeling after sales of chicken and egg have crashed 80 per cent and nearing zero very fast with nationwide lockdown over false claims that chickens are carriers of the novel coronavirus. The situation was rightly summarized by a news report in “The Hindu” with the title “Chickened out by virus, poultry is now cheaper than vegetables” published on 13th March, 2020. Before the demand dried up there was a price crash in market with report of a kg of chicken is being sold at Rs. 15-20 per kg. Prices of eggs also have come down from Rs. 5 per piece to Rs. 3. Poultry farmers in most of the states have been affected except some north eastern states. States of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh appear to be the worst affected, with farmers resorting to panic sales, and some even going as far as culling chickens. Moreover, with nationwide lockdown farmers are unable to feed rest of the live birds, thus poultry farmers are resorting to distress sales of chicken. With all of these, COVID-19 crisis appears to be more widespread in India than the bird flu outbreak of 2006, which was restricted to the western part of the country and will left behind deep burn in poultry sector for sure. Fate of maize growers are closely linked with the status of poultry industry as maize is hugely used as poultry feed. Presently the prices of Maize also dropped due to absence of demand for poultry products.

Case 11: Output increased, demand plunges- COVID 19 takes a toll on dairy sector:
Though, summers are known for lower milk production by the animals but milk output has increased in recent weeks despite the onset of summer. This delayed milk flush (i.e., when the lactation of a milch animal peaks) happening due to extended monsoon last year. The 21-day lockdown has drastically reduced milk sales as bulk consumers such as hotels, restaurants and cafes across the country have shut down and inter-State movement of dairy products has stalled. The largest player Amul has witnessed a 25 per cent dip in sales, while the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) the second largest milk co-operative in the country has seen a slump of about 30 per cent. Private players in some States have seen a sharper decline of up to 40 per cent. In this situation the commercial dairy farmers are at the wrong end unlike the small and marginal dairy farmers who at least can utilize their output for home consumption. People’s departure from big cities to rural areas caused the drop. Fear is also arising that, going forward, the overall consumption will remain lower by about 10-15 per cent from the normal, thus will longing the economic suffering of commercial dairy farmers especially. In West Bengal sweet shops are the one of the major purchaser of raw milk. After lockdown some cowshed owners in the North 24 Parganas district even poured milk down a drain. As cow may get sick if not milked regularly but there is no market for the milk. Later, West Bengal government allowed sweet shops to remain open for four hour (from 12 pm to 4 pm) amid the COVID-19 lockdown to reduce stress on dairy industry.

Dark cloud over the horizon: new sowing under question

Case 12: Rainfall adding to the plight of farmers under lockdown from North to South:
As the wheat crop is at harvesting stages in most parts of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, the rain with gusty winds in the first week of April has raised farmers’ anxiety as the inclement weather could adversely impact the yield. The untimely rain along with winds will flatten the standing crop, resulting in lower quality and reduced yield. The grain loses its shine once the crop is flattened along with increase in labour cost of harvesting of flattened crop. Amid the severe labour shortage due to large scale migration of skilled labours back to their villages in eastern India and with uncertainty of their return soon will add to the ongoing plight of the farmers.In southern India where moderate rain in mid-April generally brings cheer to the farmers are making the farmers disappointed this year amid COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown who are staring at an uncertain future. Summer rains and pre-monsoon showers that follow make the period when farmers hit the fields in preparation for early Kharif crops. Most of this takes place under rain-fed conditions. Black gram, green gram, and cowpea cultivation are taken up extensively in many parts of the southern states of India. But no work is taking place though the time is ideal as landless agricultural workers who used to be transported daily from different taluks and districts in tractors and trucks and hired on contract cannot move as there are restriction on the movement of people.

Case: 13: Farmers of far eastern part of India are also not spared: ‘mizo’ farmers under stress:
The oil palm cultivation is mainly done under contract farming. Private companies purchased produce from the farmers on the price fixed by the governments. The oil palm growers in Mizoram have suffered a loss of about Rs. 25-30 lakh as private mill was closed because of the ongoing lockdown. The growers of other cash crops like ginger, turmeric and sugarcane in Mizoram are also problem of harvest because of dearth of labourers. The mithun farmers in Mizoram’s Sailulak village in Serchhip were badly hit as their mithuns have been attacked and killed by a pack of wolves. In the wake of novel coronavirus spread the cattle were left unattended. Farmers near Bangladesh border in Assam could not move to the “no man’s land” area for farming activities during lockdown.

Ray of new hope in distant sky: timely policy action bringing some reprieve

Case 14: Bank shows the way- Bank launches new products to support farmers, poultry players:
Bank personnel are being praised throughout India as they have ensured smooth running financial services amid difficulties people are facing amid lockdown. So, again they are the frontrunner to reach out those who in turn will ensure our food security, the Indian farmers. The Indian Bank has launched three new schemes to support farmers, poultry players and the workforce in the informal sector during the current crisis triggered by the outbreak of dreaded COVID-19 virus. Under the IND KCC Covid Sahaya Loan, farmers cultivating crops and rearing animals and having Kissan Credit Card facility can avail 10 per cent of the limit as a soft loan. Borrowers in the poultry sector (layer/breeder/broiler) can avail 20 per cent of the working capital limit under the IND Covid Emergency Poultry Loan scheme. The loans are repayable in easy instalments with six months moratorium period. Besides, under a special credit package “SHG Covid Sahaya Loan”, women members of Self Help Groups can avail loan @ Rs. 5,000 each. Thus an SHG with 20 members can avail a loan up to Rs.1,00,000 as a soft loan repayable in easy instalments. Other banks are also taking similar initiative to help the farmers with easy credit so that they can cope with their requirement with relative ease. Also, nearly 7 crore farmers received Rs 2,000 each directly in their bank accounts through direct benefit transfer under PM-KISAN to tide over COVID-19 crisis.

Case 15: Guideline issued by government to exempt agricultural activity from lockdown to ensure food supply:
Looking at the widespread problem being faced by farmers and anticipating a food crisis if not immediately addressed Government has granted relaxation in the nationwide lockdown for activities related to agriculture and allied activities. This will ensure uninterrupted harvesting of crops. Categories exempted from the lockdown include agencies engaged in procurement of agriculture products, markets operated by the agriculture produce market committee, farming operations by farmers and farm workers in the field, manufacturing and packaging units of fertilizers, pesticides and seed, and intra and inter-state movement of harvesting and sowing related machines. At later stage of lockdown Operations of the fishing (marine)/ aquaculture industry, including feeding and maintenance, harvesting, processing, packaging, cold chain, movement of fish/ shrimp and fish products etc. also exempted. Because of the difficulties in road transport, central government has deployed a certain train to transport perishable agricultural and horticultural commodities to markets. The Centre has extended the procurement window for its Price Support Scheme and has also hiked the daily procurement limit from 25 quintals to 40 quintals per farmer for the 2020 Rabi season.

Towards a new morning: Future opportunity the pandemic can offer

Case 16: Direct marketing through forming voluntary group:
A mechanism will effectively weed out middle man for good in future get perfected amid COVID-19 lockdown: Small farmers in Maharashtra are joining hands to take vegetables and fruits to the doorsteps of housing societies as big markets and Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) are not fully functioning because of lockdown. In many places, the district agricultural department is connecting farmers’ groups to housing complexes. The farmers’ producer companies (FPCs) have also jumped into action. Sahyadri Farms, the Nashik-based FPC, has started selling fruit and vegetable baskets in Nashik, Pune, and Mumbai, according to the demand made by individual consumers or housing societies. As a result, profits earned is directly accruing to cultivators instead of getting divided among middlemen and wholesale dealers, while consumers are getting a better deal. The market link getting established and business model getting perfected on the field itself amid absence of powerful middleman lobby which was unthinkable even before one month.

Case 16: Use of leverage of ICT:
ITC Agri showing the way to work around farm supply hurdles: Information Communication Technology (ICT) have the power to revolutionize the whole mechanism of Agriculture. The true power of ICT are on display in the hand of one of the largest Agriculture based company of India, ITC Agri. ITC is leveraging mobile technologies such as e-Choupal 4.0 and its local field staff to ensure continuity in farming. The aim is to hand-hold farmers on best practices. As an example of its innovative capacity, in Andhra Pradesh, ITC field staff are supporting farmers in the adoption of farmer friendly foldable chilli dryers while ensuring social distancing. The new technology ensures faster drying (saves 30 per cent time vis-à-vis the traditional way of drying), besides improving quality and preventing foreign material contamination thus ensuring farmers not forced to sale out their stock in minimal prices or throwing out of unsold produce to get rid of it. Some government organisations are also efficiently utilizing ICT platforms like the Haritha Kerala Mission has arranged classes on vegetable farming via Facebook live.

Case 17: Indian farmers may get a competitive edge in export of 21 Agri. Commodities:
There may be opportunities for Indian exporters of agri-items, as many countries imposing import restrictions on Chinese goods in response to outbreak of COVID-19. Government has identified 21 agricultural products, including honey, potatoes, grapes, soya beans and groundnuts, in which Indian exports could benefit from trade restrictions against Chinese goods as India is price and volume-wise competitive and capable to provide an alternative. The total value of China’s global exports of these products amounted to $5488.6 million in 2018. India exported $4,445.9 million worth of these commodities in the same period and could now have a chance to grab part of China’s market share.

The way forward: What need to be done to provide respite to Indian Farmers

Our survival is totally dependent on agriculture in all type of crisis including present one. As the rage of COVID 19 continue throughout the world including India the most serious problem faced by agriculture sector and especially by farmers can be summarized as

Ø  The food production system has been significantly affected, and these impacts will grow if input supplying and processing enterprises cannot restart production in a near future

Ø  Production of staple food crops such as wheat and rice, and vegetables will be affected if the outbreak continues into critical planting periods

Ø  Domestic and international trade disruptions and rumours spreading through social media may trigger food price panics

Ø  Restrictions on mobility may lead to labor shortages thus affecting harvesting as well as sowing of next season

Ø  Disruption of farmers’ cropping schedules will likely increase water demand for irrigation and, in some regions, intensify risks and tensions associated with water scarcity (CGIAR, 2020)

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) has recommended some measures to address ongoing crisis those include:

ü  Allow mandis and food processing units to operate smoothly with appropriate protection and hygiene measures, open more procurement centers, some relaxation in APMC regulations, ensure the supply of seeds, irrigation equipment and other Agri-inputs considering the upcoming Kharif season, decrease of electricity unit rates for cold stores, relief measure for the Poultry sector, etc.

This situation demands a coordinated response both in policy formulation and their effective implementation along with technology dissemination to mitigate COVID-19 impacts on farm sector in India. These include:

ü  Ensuring production and availability of good seeds and other farm inputs to farmers in time for the Kharif season as good harvest depends on quality seeds delivered to farmers by the seed sector. Thus, the government needs to roll out a special stimulus package for the seed industry with special focus for the Small and Medium companies. This can include low-interest or interest free loans for the industry.

ü  Despite exemption orders, the seed and allied sectors are experiencing harassment at the local levels and even from authorities. Seed hubs and production facilities are under pressure to shut and labourers and village level henchmen are using this opportunity to make unreasonable demands. Vigilantes in certain areas are blocking roads and not allowing the movement of labour. The government needs to immediately step in stop harassment. Despite the notification, police is forcing farm input shops - seeds, fertilisers, etc. to remain shut. A strict notification should be immediately issued to the authorities to stop harassment.

ü  The government should allow all sub-trades and manufacturing units associated with agri-inputs to function. For example, seed industry is also dependent on packaging and paper units, they should be allowed to function.

ü  Ensuring smooth logistical operations of regional agricultural and food supply chains. In this process Indian railways have a big role to play. First they should actively start transporting farm inputs - including seeds etc. from seed hubs to all states and grain and fresh produce from the hinterland to the cities. The passenger coaches - AC and non-AC should be used to transport smaller quantities and possibly even perishables. This will bring additional revenue for the railways and also help tackle food security concerns.

ü  Farmers groups especially FPOs need to be linked with the Public Distribution System (PDS) for the supply of semi-perishable commodities like onion, garlic, potato, etc. to meet the need of consumers who are especially dependent on PDS.

ü  Conducting participatory COVID-19 impact assessments to map the pandemic’s effects on
people’s food security and livelihoods, derive proactive measures and to determine what
assistance the farmers required from Research and Extension system as well as from international agencies like partners such as FAO, CGIAR, etc.

ü  Highlighting critical gaps in (district/regional) agricultural emergency preparedness.
Developing (district/regional) an agricultural contingency plan would be vital to take action
when faced with upcoming economic slowdowns and downturns in a timely and effective

ü  Ensuring the smooth flow of trade and making full use of the international market as a vital tool to secure food supply and demand

ü  Diversifying and enhancing agricultural production to combat the current and imminent
crises in this country.

ü  Monitoring food prices and strengthening market supervision;

ü  Protecting vulnerable groups and providing employment services to migrant workers by increasing resilience and mitigation of social disruptions.

ü  Building resilient agriculture by inculcating lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic – this pandemic is a stark warning of what can happen when we fail to prepare for climate crisis.

Lastly, precise assessments of the impacts of COVID-19 on agriculture and food systems are necessary and assessment approach should carefully consider the gender dimensions of food security, labor, health, and vulnerability. Introducing enabling policies for spring planting and increasing support for production entities as well as effective communication of these to vast majority of farmers to enable informed decision making is of utmost importance as immediate response the government can offer to mitigate further disruption in agriculture sector.


Directorate of Economics & Statistics. (2017). Pocket Book of Agricultural Statistics. Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Government of India, New Delhi.






















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