Impact of COVID-19 on the Agricultural Sector And Initiatives Taken By Government To Assist the Agrarian Industry

Must Read

What is the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016?

The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (“RERA”) is an Act of the Parliament. It seeks to protect...

Should the Exorbitant Amounts Charged for RT-PCR Tests be Refunded?

Introduction A plea has been filed in the Honourable Supreme Court of India seeking a refund of exorbitant amounts charged...

Should CCTV’s be Installed in the Police Station?

Introduction In a recent judgment, the bench led by Justice Nariman issued directions to both the state and Union Territory...

A Legal Analysis of the West Bengal Political Crisis on IPS Deputation

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has recently summoned three IPS officers of West Bengal (WB). The decision was...

Explained: Postal Ballot for NRIs

At the end of November 2020, Election Commission sent a proposal to the law ministry to amend the Representation...

Explained: Constitutional Provisions and Legislations With Regards to a Person with Disabilities

The world celebrates December 3 as International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). This day is also called World...

Follow us

The current ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected people from all walks of life. It has affected everyone across all sectors from big business to small industries. Governments all over the world have taken various steps to fight the pandemic. According to the IMF, the growth outlook of the world economy for 2020 was ‘negative’. Like many countries, India also imposed a lockdown throughout the country. It resulted in a poor growth rate for March, April, and May 2020.

During this lockdown, the Government closed down all industries except essential services. The situation has improved as the Government lifted the lockdown since 1st June 2020. However, these challenging times have affected the agrarian industry as well. This article tries to find out how the agricultural industry responded to the crisis. How did government measures affect 140 million farm households across the country? What is the future of agriculture in India post COVID-19?

Agrarian produce in India before coronavirus

The Indian agrarian produce for the year was satisfactory. India’s foodgrain output was up by 2.4% and stood at 292 million tonnes in 2019. According to reports, the stocks of wheat and rice weighed 77.6 Million Metric Tonnes (MMT). This quantity was more than three times the minimum operational stock of 21.04 MMT.

The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) had 2.25 MMT of pulses. The supply situation of essential food items did not appear to be too worrisome in India. However, the lockdown caused problems in the supply and production of agricultural products. The agricultural industry faced many difficulties during the lockdown. It led to tremendous losses to the poor farmers of the country.

Impact of COVID-19 lockdown on the agrarian industry

The agricultural sector in India has faced many problems wherein the industry has suffered huge losses. It has also forced the common man to pay absurd prices due to supply bottlenecks. But it is the poor and marginal farmers who have suffered the most. Most farmers have sold their entire stock below MSP. Tomato growers in Maharashtra were selling their produce at Rs. 2 per kg during the lockdown. Grape growers are facing a loss of Rs. 1000 due to low demand. In Punjab, vegetables that were sold at Rs. 15/kg are reportedly being sold at Rs 1/kg. In Delhi and the surrounding areas, the average price of meat fell from Rs. 55/kg to Rs. 24/kg. In Tamil Nadu, egg prices are reported to have fallen from Rs. 4/egg to Rs. 1.95/egg.

Problems faced by the Farmers

The lockdown has caused the following problems to the industry:

  1. The biggest problem faced by farmers is harvesting. There are disruptions in the procurement of food gains by government agencies. A lot of farmers’ cooperative mandis have closed down. There is no labour to harvest crops. Shutdowns of retail, agricultural markets have also caused problems. These factors have led to low harvest of many crops, e.g. wheat, grapes, watermelons, bananas, etc.
  2. Another issue faced by farmers is the return of many migrant workers to their homes. This forced farm and dairy operations to function at 50% operational capacity. Some did use mechanical harvesters. However, there were no mechanics to fix or maintain the machines due to the lockdown. Labour shortages were also experienced in most cold storage units and warehouses. It has led to the destruction and improper storage of crops in godowns, causing huge losses.
  3. Another problem faced by the industry is the disruption of supply chains. The Government has permitted the transport of essentials throughout the country. Yet, there have been disruptions in the supply of agricultural products. The stoppage of inter-state travel and entry points to States has increased problems. These points saw piles of trucks unable to move forward. Drivers for lorry transport also faced shortages in many places. This leads to the slow movement of goods across the country.
  4. The availability of livestock feed was at an all-time low in many animal husbandry units. This issue led to the death of many birds at the farm, or farmers were undertaking panic selling at meagre prices. The fear of meat being a transmitter of the virus has also not helped the industry.

Initiative taken by the Government to help the agrarian industry

The lockdown has shone the spotlight on problems faced by the farmers. Low output and supply chain disruptions were causing havoc in agricultural marketing. The Government promised to ensure the untangling of the same. It also passed various financial measures to help farmers facing difficulties.

The Government immediately apprehended the issues and passed various directions to help them. The first was to announce that the Government will pay the first instalment of the PM-Kisan scheme of Rs. 2000, upfront to farmers. It also announced a hike of the wages under MGNREGS, from Rs.182 to Rs. 202 per day.

The RBI also provided much-needed relief to the farmers. It announced a three-month moratorium on agricultural term loans. The Minister for Cooperation S.T. Somashekhar also announced crop loans from cooperative institutions. These loans are worth Rs.13,000 crore and are for the current financial year. It was to help farmers who needed liquidity to ramp up production.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has also made various announcements. She stated that the focus would be on improving farmers’ income. She plans on doing this through long-term investments and changes. There would be less emphasis on short-term crop loans. Yet, there has been no announcement on an immediate economic stimulus for the sector.

Conclusion

The coronavirus lockdown has affected the farmers staggeringly. The sudden price hike in the cost of vegetables in cities and towns is a result of disruptions in the supply chain. However, it is the middlemen that earn due to these hikes. Farmers, as always are at the mercy of these middlemen, who leave no chance to exploit them. Lesser education and poor knowledge about government schemes have also been a hindrance.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation worse for already impoverished farmers. Both the legislature and the bureaucracy are responsible. It is their onus to ensure proper implementation of relief measures. It is high time that the people of this country pay heed to men and women who provide us with our everyday subsistence.


Libertatem.in is now on Telegram. Follow us for regular legal updates and judgements from the court. Follow us on Google News, InstagramLinkedInFacebook & Twitter. You can also subscribe for our Weekly Email Updates. You can also contribute stories like this and help us spread awareness for a better society. Submit Your Post Now.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest News

Gujarat High Court Directs To Register Name of Petitioners in the Society Records as Owners of Property, as per Will

A single-judge bench of Gujarat High Court consisting of Honourable Justice Biren Vaishnav, because probate wasn’t necessary and that the petitioners were entitled to...

If No Complaint Is Filed, No Further Orders Are Required To Be Passed: Telangana High Court

Excerpt In Matlakunta Sundaramma vs The State Of Telangana, on January 8, 2021, the Telangana High Court decided that there is no requirement of passing...

Gujarat High Court Allows Report Filed by Official Liquidator for Dissolution of the Company

The present report had been filed by the Official Liquidator for the dissolution of M/s AtRo Limited under the provisions of Section 497 (6)...

Parents of Road Accident Victim Entitled To Compensation: Delhi High Court

Justice JR Midha said, “Even if parents are not dependent on their children at the time of an accident, they will certainly be dependent, both financially and emotionally, upon them at the later stage of their life, as the children were dependent upon their parents in their initial years.”

Plea Challenging the AIBE Rules Framed by BCI Filed in the Supreme Court

A Writ Petition was presently filed in the Supreme Court by a newly enrolled lawyer challenging the All India Bar Examination Rules 2010 which have been framed by the Bar Council of India which mandates that an advocate has to qualify for the All India Bar Examination (AIBE) to practice law after enrollment.

Bombay High Court: Mere Presence at the Crime Scene Not Enough for Punishment

The Bombay High Court ruled that it cannot be considered a crime if a person is merely present at the crime scene which falls under the Maharashtra Prohibition of Obscene Dance in Hotels and Restaurants and Bar Rooms and Protection of Dignity of Women Act 2016. It also quashed two First Information Reports (FIR) against two individuals who were arrested in a raid at a dance bar by the Santacruz Police, in 2017.

CAIT Files a Plea Against WhatsApp’s New Privacy Policy in the Supreme Court

Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has filed a petition against WhatsApp’s new privacy rules in the Supreme Court. The petition says that WhatsApp which is known to render public services by providing a platform to communicate has recently imposed a privacy policy that is unconstitutional, which not only goes against the fundamental rights of citizens but also jeopardizes the national security of our country.

RTI Activist Files a Plea in Bombay High Court Against Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin

On Saturday, a plea has been filed before the Bombay High Court by an activist stating that Bharat Biotech Covaxin had not been granted full approval but a restricted use in clinical trials according to the Drugs Comptroller General of India. The Company's phase 3 trials are ongoing and the DGCI has not made any data available in the public domain for peer- review by independent scientists.

WhatsApp Emails Delhi HC Judge Asking Her Not To Hear the Plea Challenging New Privacy Policy

The Delhi High Court raised strong objection to an E-mail sent by WhatsApp asking a judge not to hear the plea which challenges its new privacy policy. Justice Pratibha Singh said that the e-mail that was withdrawn later was totally unwarranted as she was anyway going to recuse from hearing the plea which was filed by Rohilla Chaitanya who contends that the new privacy policy of WhatsApp provides 360-degree access to a customer’s virtual activity and is against the fundamental right of privacy.

TRP Scam Case: Bombay HC Extends Protection To Arnab Goswami and Other Employees Till the Next Hearing

On Friday, the Bombay High court extended the protection that was given, to Republic TV’s Editor in Chief Arnab Goswami and other employees of ARG Outlier Media Private Limited till January 29th in the alleged case of Television Rating Point manipulation. A status report was submitted by the police to the division bench of Justices S.S.Shinde and Manish Pitale by the Police on the ongoing case.

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -