Facing the challenges of food crisis and livelihood security in India under the threat of COVID-19

Abstract


Punit Kumar Agarwalb* and Pushpa Yadavaand

The novel corona virus was first identified at the end of 2019 and it is a respiratory illness, which had affected to at least 240 countries on the globe. Corona virus has rapidly spread its wings across the world, devastating lives and livelihoods in almost all the corners of the world. Although the impact of corona virus on agriculture and food security is difficult to predict as of late March, the impact of the virus on food security and agriculture is not yet known, nor will it likely be known for coming months as the spread of virus is continuously increasing at different rate on different continents and country. The only thing which is very certain and clear to each and every country is that it will have or it is better to say it is already having a strong negative effects on agriculture including food security and livelihood of the poor and vulnerable people of the society. Looking in the past some unseen risk factors can be identified and lesson from the previous pandemics (e.g. Ebola virus disease in West Africa in 2014) or Global food crisis of 2008 indicated that effects on agriculture and food security will rapid and more gigantic proportion. Though India has taken early action to limit the spread of COVID-19 by implementing phase wise lockdown for almost 54 days for all economic. Still the virus has travelled a long and had affected large number of lives. However, as Corona cases are increasing fast, there is urgent need to have consciousness about the disease pandemic spread and its impact on agriculture and food security. These steps has been taken by almost all the governing body of each and every country of the world and definitely helping in limiting the health crisis, but as in other countries the complete shutdown of all economic and social activities except essential services has created an economic crisis and misery for the poor, with massive job losses and rising food insecurity. The latest figures from International Labour Organization on massive job loss in four sectors that have experienced the most “drastic” effects of the disease and falling production are: food and accommodation (144 million workers), retail and wholesale (482 million); business services and administration (157 million); and manufacturing (463 million).

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