Diversification, Market Access and Value Chains, Development Pathways, Policy & Institutions, Poverty Dynamics
Lessons from a pandemic to repurpose India’s agricultural policy
COVID-19 pandemic, Agricultural Policy, Migrant agricultural workers, Food basket, Water intensive crops, Arabinda K Padhee, Prabhu Pingali, Livelihoods, Food and nutrition, Welfare measures, Minimum Support Price, Public Distribution System, Crop diversification
As the coronavirus crisis triggers a large-scale exodus of migrant agricultural workers from India’s food basket, it’s time the country diversified beyond labor- and water-intensive crops, say Dr Arabinda K Padhee and Prof Prabhu Pingali. Television footages of hundreds of migrant labourers walking for thousands of kilometres amidst India’s country-wide lockdown shook the collective conscience of a nation this April. In the absence of livelihoods, shelters and square meals, these labourers desperately wanting to get back to their home states portrayed the vulnerability of India’s massive unorganised agricultural workforce.