Covid-19 as mentioned in Google is the most mentioned and used word in these last two years. Since 2019 it has had the most impact on our lives, from shutting down colleges, schools, movie halls, keeping us from meeting our families and friends. All these implementations made such a huge change in our lives that I feel like we have somewhat neglected and ignored the large-scale impact of a global pandemic.
One of the most affected industries nationwide was the Agricultural Industry.
Taking a deeper look into this nationwide issue I found out that the Agricultural sector registered positive growth post-pandemic of 3.4% but as it was less than its immediate past quarter growth of 5.9%, It was issued a decline of 2.5%. In the Agriculture Industry migration is a big aspect of people’s livelihoods, in the months from November to March this labor migration led to the major scarcity of labor which had a detrimental consequence as it affected the harvesting of crops like wheat and pulses and this impact was much harder for the farmers of intensively cultivated northwestern plains of India. Due to COVID, the government imposed strict lockdown and restrictions on movement, this disrupted supply chains hampering the uninterrupted flow of inputs for and outputs of agricultural activities. The supply of perishable commodities was affected more, challenging the food and nutritional security of the vulnerable sections of society. Huge buffer stocks of rice and wheat supplemented by a record harvest in the 2019–20 crop season enabled the Indian food system to tackle the pandemic. The COVID-19 induced lockdown exacerbated food loss at production, marketing, distribution, and wastage at the household consumption level. For instance, due to lack of demand and logistics, food commodities such as milk, vegetables, and fruits were wasted at the farm level while the distribution of milk by the Anand Milk Union Limited (AMUL) – the largest milk cooperative in India – was also affected.
The global pandemic was itself a lot to deal with for the Agricultural Industry and then to combine it with the Climate Change issues produced its challenges for the farmers although there are no studies that give any evidence on how COVID influenced climate change that is a different global issue for some other time to explore. In our country, the Agricultural Industry took a turn for the worst, besides the pandemic creating a panic situation, locust infestation from East Africa to India had a catastrophic effect on agriculture. Natural calamities like cyclones and floods in eastern and western states caused devastation adding to the woes. It felt like the industry was running in a race that it wasn’t supposed to win, In the months of sowing summer from April to June and southwest monsoon from July to October, farmers were facing an uphill battle in marketing decisions. During the state procurement operations of the winter harvested wheat, due to the need for adhering to the social distancing norms, the Government of India suspended the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act enabling many temporary local markets and procurement centers.
After reading and analyzing various articles and research findings I was able to jot down some of the very impactful problems that must have had a very big impact on a lot of families. The effect that we all will never be able to comprehend isn’t that a luxury for basically 90 percent of the people that will read this. For a long time, we as a nation have ignored the right of a farmer. I hope that I have shed some light on some of the issues that the providers of food in our country go through. I hope the next time there is a plea to donate to any farmers we all take the initiative. I hope at the end of everyone reading this there is a change and effort to help these people.