Will Covid crisis in rural India spell disaster for agriculture?


Amid the second wave of the pandemic, as farm exporters and policymakers are building various scenarios, the role of Southwest monsoon, which is likely to hit the Kerala coast on May 31, can’t be underestimated.

Synopsis

The factors that will likely contribute to this scenario include a normal monsoon that has been forecast, steady global demand for Indian farm products, stocking of rice in Africa and the Middle East due to uncertainties associated with the pandemic and, last but not the least, the sheer luck that the second wave didn’t coincide with the season of rice transplantation that takes place mainly in July.

The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic is sweeping across rural India. Reports are coming in of people dying of its symptoms — fever and cough. The Ganga that flows through eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar was swollen with bodies. In Haryana’s Sonepat district, just to mention one instance, the local administration earlier this week declared 50 villages as hotspots after each habitat registered 10-15 cases of the disease.

The situation in

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