India File

Covid-19: A blessing in disguise

| Updated on August 11, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is likely to have a transformative impact on the rural economy. Anil Ghanwat, President of Shetkari Sanghatana, says the pandemic has shown farmers the way forward. Agriculture should be strengthened to stop migration to cities and farmers should get remunerative prices for their produce so that they can start agri-processing businesses in villages. According to Ghanwat, Covid-19 has proved to be a blessing in disguise; it could open the doors to economic freedom for farmers.

Washim district in Vidarbha is known for freshwater fish farming and fish farmers usually sell their produce to brokers at ₹70 per kg. But during the Covid-19 crisis, as the chain of brokers broke down, fish farmers sold their produce directly to consumers at ₹200/kg, which fetched them ₹130 extra per kg. Fish farming is a secondary enterprise for farmers here. These farmers could join hands to establish an FPC.

MahaFPC, a consortium of 303 FPCs in Maharashtra, achieved a turnover of ₹550 crore during the lockdown while working as a procurement agency for Nafed and Food Corporation of India. It procured pigeon pea and chickpea from the farmers through its member companies.

Published on August 11, 2020

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