India is an agricultural country. Today, the world is facing a crisis due to Corona. Indian agriculture is also affected due to this crisis. So, during this challenging time, the Indian agrarian crisis must be faced effectively. We must stop the damage in the agriculture sector. Long term structural reforms such as land reforms, contract farming, and private agricultural markets, farm mechanization, etc., bring enhanced investment in the agricultural sector and drive its growth.
In the wake of continuing restrictions on the movement of people and vehicles, concerns have been expressed about the negative impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on the agricultural economy. It is the peak of the Rabi season in India and crops such as wheat, gram, lentils, mustard, etc. (including paddy in irrigated tracts) reach a harvestable stage or almost to maturity. This is the time when the harvesting of the farm reaches the market yard for the procurement tasks ensured by the designated government agencies.
In addition, any disruption in the supply of perishable fruits and vegetables, dairy products, fish, etc. is mobilized to meet the growing demand of a bulging middle class as well as urban and rural consumers. Migration of workers from some parts to their villages has also another problem for agricultural economy, as they are important for both harvesting operations and subsequent handling of produce in storage and marketing centers. In a very important step, the Union Home Ministry has notified farmers, farm laborers, and machines related to harvesting and sewing to be outside the purview of lockdown. Food grains, fruits and vegetables, and consumers in both rural and urban areas Making other essential items available to the government is the most important challenge to the government system during the lockdown period. Here we are going to discuss the major Problems Have to face by the agricultural sector during the Coronavirus and initiatives taken by ICAR and the Government of India.
- Rabi Harvesting:
Farmers across the country ensure smooth harvesting of crops as well as smooth procurement operations due to the ongoing lockdown with the Rabi harvesting season. The restrictive exemption by the Union Home Ministry on inter-state movements of farmers / laborers as well as harvesting and related agricultural machines is indeed a step in the right direction. Their safety from any COVID infection and welfare should be prioritized by government systems, ensuring the availability of workers for important agricultural operations. The government also provides a great guideline to Harvest safely. We can apply online at KhetiGaadi for various types of Harvesters
- Perishable Industry:
Sale of dairy products; fish; Poultry etc. have also become a hit during the lockdown period due to lack of workforce and transport issues by organized industry players.
- Shortage of Agricultural Labor:
To address the immediate concerns of agricultural labor shortages, policies should facilitate easy availability of machinery ( To easy availability of any kind of Farm machinery like Tractor , Rotavator, other farm Implements and Harvesters , Just check at Khetigaadi.com ) through state institutions, farmer producer organizations (FPOs) or custom hiring centers (CHCs) with appropriate incentives. To ensure the wages to the landless laborers and laborers, as well as to avail NREGS funds to pay part of the farm labor with the farmers paying the remaining salary amount to reduce the monetary burden on the farmer has been suggested.
- Mitigation Measures:
The poorer section of society always gets killed the most in the event of any disaster or epidemic. About 85 percent of Indian farmhouses are small and marginal farmers,(For Small and Marginal Farmers We have opportunity to rent or buy old tractor at Our digital platform Khetigaadi) and a significant portion of the population are landless farm laborers, the welfare measures to prevent any harm from COVID are going to help them in honest implementation. Therefore, the focus of the government is to protect the life of every citizen. However, people living on agriculture and allied activities, who are mostly losing their income from informal employment in this lockdown period, are provided with alternative avenues (cash transfers) until the economy returns. Agricultural commodities Investment in key logistics should be increased to keep up with demand. In addition, e-commerce and delivery companies and start-ups need to be encouraged with appropriate policies and incentives. Small and medium enterprises running with raw materials from agriculture and allied sectors also need special attention, so that the rural economy does not collapse.
- Government Initiative:
Soon after the nationwide lockout announcement, the Indian Finance Minister announced a 1.7 trillion package, mostly to protect the vulnerable sections including farmers from any adverse effects of the corona epidemic. In the announcements, a set of benefits included an advance release of INR 2000 into farmers’ bank accounts as income support under the Prime Minister-Kisan scheme. The government also raised the wage rate for workers engaged under NREGS, the world’s largest wage guarantee scheme. The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (Prime Minister’s Scheme for the Welfare of the Poor) has been announced, under a special scheme to take care of the vulnerable population. Additional grain allocation to the registered beneficiaries was also announced. Cash and food assistance to persons engaged in the informal sector, mostly migrant laborers, has also been announced, for which a separate PM-CARS (Prime Minister’s Civil Assistance and Emergency Relief) fund has been created.
- Initiative of Indian Council of Agricultural Research:
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has issued state-wise guidelines for farmers during the lockdown period. The consultant referred to specific practices for harvesting and threshing various rabbi (sown in winter) crops, as well as post-harvest storage and marketing.