The present study focused on evaluating the impact of Covid-19 lockdown on the agriculture system in India. A telephonic interview was conducted with farmers among various states between April to May 2020. A total of 494 farmers participated in the survey identifying the challenges they faced during the lockdown. First, the study has outlined the knowledge and perception of respondents on the Covid-19 virus and second the impact of Covid 19 induced restrictions on the agricultural system and food prices in India has been analyzed. The study classified the impact of lockdown on the agriculture system into four broad classifications - Farm Inputs, Farm Produce and Supply Chain, Agriculture and Allied Activities, Pandemic and Food prices. The detailed analysis across these four dimensions is discussed. Due to the shutdown of many supply routes, the availability of agricultural inputs such as fertilizer and seeds was disrupted, which jeopardized farmers’ investment planning. Furthermore, the seasonal migrants who would work in urban areas enter off-season and return to their native villages for farming could not carry it on. Such a rapid chain of events created massive short-run income shortages for small and marginalized farmers across the country. The special economic package for agriculture empowerment announced by the Government of India in the tune of two lakh crore rupees, equivalent to ten per cent of India’s GDP, has been the government’s first response to deal with this agricultural crisis. Finally, the chapter puts forward policy suggestions to strengthen resource-poor farmers’ capabilities plagued with a low-income-low-yield vicious cycle.
Part of the book: Rural Health