Corona epidemic becomes new trouble for crisis-ridden agriculture sector
Now no one is untouched by the corona virus infection, whether it is industry or agriculture. Farmers in India are already facing economic crisis and this new epidemic has added to their woes.
Farmer Banwarilal Bhardwaj was hoping to buy a car by selling the bumper crop of Rabi crop, but the corona virus shattered his dreams. As the corona virus crisis is spreading around the world, it is also affecting the prices of agricultural products. Banwarilal, a farmer from Rajasthan, says, “Now I will not be able to buy a car.” Whatever I earn will be used to repay the loan. “Banwarilal has planted white mustard and peas in his six hectare field. The price of white mustard has fallen by 16 per cent this year while the price of pea has fallen by 10 per cent. Banwarilal says “If the prices fall further, it will be difficult for me to repay the debt.”
There are more than 200 million farmers in the country, the health of the country’s agricultural sector directly affects the economy. More than half of the country’s population depends on the agricultural sector for their livelihood. Therefore, profit-generating produce increases consumption and while small crops or low-value crops can bring recession. In 2019, the summer crop was ruined due to excessive rains and farmers were expecting from the winter crops that the rural economy would boom again. However, the prices of crops have weakened after the outbreak of Corona virus. Asia’s largest economy is growing at the slowest pace in six years. Prices of crops like maize, soybean, cotton and onion have fallen by 50 per cent. According to Mumbai-based derivatives and commodities expert Harish Galipelli, “The impact of higher yields will be invalidated by lower prices. Farmers’ income will remain the same.”