The Agriculture sector of India is currently 16.5% of the Indian Economy. Agriculture is the primary occupation in India. Due to the lockdowns imposed by the various governments in the world to combat the coronavirus pandemic outbreak. Due to the lockdown, people from various walks of life have been forced to go into agriculture to earn money. People are struggling to run their families and households. The damage done by this virus is huge and it will take some time for the damage to be controlled and recovery to be started. The farmers in India have sad stories, they kill themselves so that their debts are written off, they are cheated by the educated due to their illiteracy. Despite being an agrarian economy, India fails to support farmers and enhance their financial situation. Due to this lockdown, the conditions are further deteriorating for the farmers. The Rabi crop is currently failing due to the lockdown period coinciding with the harvest of the crops.
The future could have shortages of food and can cause damages. The big danger is the lockdowns in Punjab and Haryana, the so-called “Food Bowls Of India”. The two states have enforced lockdown but are slowly continuing agricultural activities, making farmers work in the fields with protective gear, and following social distancing guidelines. Although equipped with smartphones, the uneducated and naïve farmers are not able to reap the benefits of this ingenious measure. As a result, streamlining of crop procurement and mandi operations continues to be a challenge. NGOs can volunteer to educate the farmers on the usage of these new features of the National Agriculture Market (e-NAM) Platform. To pump up the morale of the farmers yet safe and pragmatic solutions are needed. Amid border closures, quarantines, and market, supply chain and trade disruptions, the reservoirs are not going to last forever. Due to the extra time on people’s hands due to the lockdown, experimental cooking is causing a lot of wastage. Some people are unable to afford the vegetables and are running out of food due to the inflated prices due to the huge amount of demand regressing the supply of vegetables into the market. It is now our duty to restrict our diet to plain and simple foods to ensure everyone gets enough to ensure survival at this crucial time.
With a 16.5% contribution to the GVA or Gross Value Added and 43% of India’s population engaged in farming, the food and agriculture sector has immense potential to lift India out of the economic crisis abyss. The fast solutions and swift actions were taken by our government have empowered our farmers and can help India in winning the war against the destructions to lives and livelihood due to the coronavirus. Better times are coming, we will come back stronger.