World News Day 2020

The ‘harvest’ of impactful journalism

Our Bureau | Updated on September 28, 2020 Published on September 28, 2020

Farming activities in western Uttar Pradesh during the period of the nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A BusinessLine article prompts a governmental intervention to address farmers' plight during the lockdown

When India went into a rigorous nationwide lockdown in late March, in response to the coronavirus epidemic, it was hugely disruptive for many communities. One of those that was particularly affected was the community of farmers.

Given that 50 per cent of India’s population of 1.3 billion depends on agriculture as a source of livelihood, this had serious consequences for the income stability of over 600 million people. And the lockdown was enforced just at the time that the farmers were ready to take their rabi (winter) crop, harvested in early spring, to the mandis.

BusinessLine’s Senior Deputy Editor Rajalakshmi Nirmal spoke to farmers – who were facing the prospect of seeing their harvest going to waste – and offered suggestions to enable them to get their produce to the market in time. The Centre responded with alacrity to the report (As mandis get shut, here are five ways the government can help farmers cope), and put in place a mechanism (Agriculture Ministry takes quick action to help tomato farmers in Barwani) to ensure that while safety was not compromised in a pandemic situation, the farmers’ livelihoods could be protected.

In terms of the number of farmers who gained from the remedial measures, this is arguably one of BusinessLine’s most impactful articles.

Watch Rajalakshmi Nirmal’s account of the backstory

 

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Published on September 28, 2020
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