TODAY -

COVID-19: Agriculture innovation to achieve food security & challenges in Manipur

Dr. Ch. Basudha *

 Farmers' Fair and Exhibition at ICAR Research Complex, Lamphelpat, Imphal :: 30 March 2015
Farmers' Fair and Exhibition at ICAR Research Complex, Lamphelpat in March 2015 :: Pix - Nganthoi Lourembam



The pandemic has created in an unprecedented economic, social and health crisis from COVID- 19 caused by a SARS-CoV-2 virus. Both lives and livelihoods are at risk from this pandemic. The coronavirus pandemic may likely have an extensive and long-term influence on the agriculture sector in Manipur.

The Government implemented lockdown to control the spread of the COVID-19. On 24th march a 21-day lockdown was announced in India including Manipur. Agriculture was exempted and over the following weeks guidelines were published that exempted related activities, such as inputs in fisheries and food processing.

The lockdown and closure of public transport led to an exodus of labourers. This lockdown period coincided with the harvesting season of the winter-planted crops, vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, watermelon etc in the state which faced a record good harvest after a good monsoon. However, wholesale markets were closed and there was a shortage of farm labourers.

It has resulted in logistic difficulties in food production and supply chains, especially in the high value commodities such as fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, milk etc. Shortage of fish seed, feed, fertilizers, medicines and other inputs could affect fish production.

Closures of markets, restaurants and less frequent grocery diminish demand for fresh meat, fish, poultry and their products affecting producers and suppliers Covid19 reduces demand & supply: The lockdown immediately led to a drop in domestic demand and trade. Some farmers growing high value fruits and vegetables for upmarket. Though, dairy sector showed a mixed picture.

Just after the lockdown follows consumers initially crowded milk parlour to stock up. However, within a week milk prices started collapsing as office canteens, restaurants and sweet shops remained closed.

In fishery sector, during February and March normally prepared fish ponds on a normal supply of fish seeds. However, the official COVID-19 lockdown at the end of March significantly impacted the supply of fish seeds and the subsequent stocking of ponds, which resulted in a drastic fall in fish seed production and prices.

Because of the resulting uncertainty in markets and also disease outbreaks, farmers carried out emergency harvests of ponds and marketed at low prices. Normally, most farmers that stocked their ponds between March to early April, have been stocked late and could not stock till today due to non-availability of fish seeds.

Strategies for facing the pandemic in the state through Agriculture

There should be a provision of quality seeds to farmers by the seed sector- both public and private. Amidst the current tensions, good seeds and other farm inputs must reach farmers in time for kharif season. Adoption of superior cultivars also demand higher usage of resources like water and fertilizer.

Increased water use efficiency and fertilizer use efficiency is essential to derive maximum production per unit quantity of resources used. Short duration or less water requiring crops, (e.g. rapeseed & mustard, lentil, etc) should be encouraged. Such crops have better cost benefit ratio and help farmers obtained highest possible return on their investments.

Automated machines should be introduced for the planting of seeds which need only a machine driver for sowing and harvesting. Indigenous manufacturing of automated machines should be promoted by the government to cut down the overall cost. Subsidies should be provided to the manufacturers of such machines so that farmers can buy them at economical prices.

High yielding variety seed is another way of contributing to food and nutrition benefits while boosting agricultural production besides reducing a post-harvest loss. Synchronized efforts should be made for conservation practices such as crop diversification, zero soil tillage. An increase in the availability of nano nutrients to boost crop production will be an added advantage.

Efforts should be made to grow more crops that rely less on nitrogen as it proves to be good for acclimating with climate and resolving malnutrition at the same time. Organic production, packaging and processing of Ginger, Chilli, King chilli, vegetables, etc. Mushroom cultivation especially Oyster and Shiitake integrated with spawn production, processing and packaging.

Bee keeping integrated with Honey processing and agro-forestry plantationSmooth livestock farming is accomplished of advancing nutrition both by raising producer and consuming high protein animal sources of food. Aquaculture farming is another accessible, affordable option in some regions of the state. The amalgamation of farming is required to improve the status of food security and nutrition in the state.

The government also has announced number of packages to protect the vulnerable sections including farmers from any adverse impacts of this COVID 19 pandemic viz., advance release of Rs 2000/- to bank accounts of farmers as income support under PM Kissan Scheme; Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana etc.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has also announced specific measures that address the “burden of debt servicing” due to COVID19 pandemic. Agricultural term and crop loans have been granted a moratorium of three months (till May 31) by banking institutions with 3 percent concession on the interest rate of crop loans up to INR 300,000 for borrowers with good repayment behaviour.

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has also issued state-wise guidelines for farmers to be followed during the lockdown period. The advisory mentions specific practices during harvest and threshing of various rabi (winter sown) crops as well as post-harvest, storage and marketing of the farm produce including fisheries and animal husbandry.

Conclusion :

The ongoing lockdown in the state needs to be reviewed and replaced with cluster specified restrictions (as required) based on epidemiological assessment, as there is no conceivable scenario of control or elimination in a short period.

An interdisciplinary team of public health specialists and social scientists, along with grassroots political and social leaderships and volunteers, should continue raising awareness about the COVID-19 modes of transmission and methods of prevention in the community.

There should be a proper implication of digital technologies to directly sell the produce (E-Commerce) so that farmers can sell their product directly to the consumer. The time demands to actively activate social safety nets (in form of cash or in-kind transfers) to protect the worst affected and most vulnerable ones to keep up their production.

Simultaneously, it would be important to prepare trainers at government institutions to train farmers about the changing farming methods and aware them about the safety measures they need to take even after COVID-19 like social distancing, use of masks, regular washing of hands through behaviour change ommunication.

Dissemination the right awareness through the right channels is important at present. Since the prevention is always better than cure. All need to bring out changes in lifestyle, dietary and behavioral modifications.


* Dr. Ch. Basudha wrote this article for Imphal Times
The writer is a Senior Scientist of ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region Manipur Centre, Lamphelpat, Imphal-795004, Manipur
This article was webcasted on July 14 2020 .



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Tarao Laimanai, Chandel #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 3 August: Govt of Manipur
  • Ravi's take on China factor in NE Insurgency
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Opportunities in post COVID days
  • Shifting of drug supply trend in Manipur
  • Hope in COVID Era !! :: Poem
  • Press Communique from NPF [3 Aug]
  • Stand on ST demand
  • Culturals @ Sangai Fest 2019 #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 2 August: Govt of Manipur
  • Misinterpretation of Naga Political Settlement
  • Home returnees, unemployment & ILPS
  • NEP to adversely affect future of North-east
  • Conflicts of laws on Child Marriage & POSCO
  • His Stoic Endurance :: Poem
  • 'Declare relatives working in Naga movement'
  • Rise from July 1 to August 1
  • 'Zehara' - Manipuri Movie :: eRang Classic
  • COVID-19 Status 1 August: Govt of Manipur
  • CCC @ Khongnangkhong [Aug 1]: Gallery
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Where are the men in family planning ?
  • Asymptomatic & Rapid Antigen Testing
  • Cosmic Lover :: Poem
  • Incremental benefit of cleaning Nambul River
  • Why only 5 Kg of rice to cardholders?
  • Imphal View from Nongmai Ching #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Amongjambi, Kimneineng: eMing
  • Id-Ul-Azha celebrated by Meitei Pangal
  • COVID-19 & its detection strategy
  • Physical Education & Sports @ MU
  • Naming the COVID vaccine
  • Withdraw MoUs signed for mining
  • More deaths, more concern
  • Ailing Nambul River recovering
  • Dr TS Gangte: Pioneer of higher education
  • COVID-19 Status 30 July : Govt of Manipur
  • August Calendar for Year 2020 : Tools
  • Hand sanitizer @Kakching [Jul 29]: Gallery
  • The Killing Fields 2013-20 : News Timeline
  • Orders / Memo on 30 July : Govt of Manipur
  • National Education Policy 2020
  • A Golden Jubilee Reunion :: Poem
  • Employment options in Insurance Industry
  • The Political life of the State
  • Recording death tally at four
  • Hentak :: An indigenous Manipuri food
  • COVID-19 Status 29 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Enforcement of COVID-19 Guidelines
  • My Love :: Poem
  • LPG management and supply
  • International Faculty Development Program
  • High-end Forensic Geology in crime scenes
  • Covid-19: Impact in Manipur :: Photos/News..
  • Manipur on the map of COVID death
  • Checking corruption: greatest joke of the year
  • Imphal during lockdown [26 July] #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Plantation is no less a serious business
  • COVID-19 : Impact on mobility of women
  • Appeal to stop Mining in Ukhrul, Kamjong..
  • Making sense of lockdown
  • Non-Discrimination in combating COVID-19
  • Zeiladjang @ Makuai, Tamenglong : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Chassad & the Question of Justice
  • Online Training program for Police Officer
  • Proposal of Online Education: Its impact
  • The walls of Roman Londinium
  • Reminiscence of coming :: Book Review
  • Seeking to set house in order
  • The dawn of a new-normalcy
  • Imphal during lockdown [26 July] #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Delimitation amasung yelhoumee Meetei..
  • Investigative Journalism training conducted
  • Gas Balloons :: Poem
  • Career in insurance: Jobs for millions
  • Meet model teacher helping students
  • Understanding total figure of 2212
  • Manipur Art Fest 2019 #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 July : Govt of Manipur
  • PM calls for Vocal for Local to Manipur
  • Makhol_ Discussing Arts E2 with Astad Deboo
  • Society :: Poem
  • IQs & EQs of politicians
  • Living with COVID 19
  • 'Blood donors should be welcome'
  • Bracing for the worst
  • Princess & Political Agent launch #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 24 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Virus Fabrics Spray by Kakchingtambam Kiran
  • Tales from a conflict zone :: Poem
  • Why Manipur senior IPS officer shot himself
  • Anti Defection Law: Big Debate
  • COVID-19 vaccine : So near and yet so far
  • Central observers here after trip to Delhi
  • The limitation on Free Speech
  • Impact of COVID-19 on transgender
  • COVID-19 Status 23 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Love Story of Tonu Laijing Lembi
  • 29th NAMA Virtual Convention 2020
  • Understanding disasters & disaster mgmt #2
  • Seeking NHRC to intervent in Akhil Gogoi case
  • Impacts of COVID-19 on agriculture : Paper
  • Lockdown & opening doors to outsiders
  • In search of the elusive leader
  • Anti-Repression Day #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 22 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Race Apart ? :: Poem
  • Of political instability, COVID & war on drug
  • Preventing skin damage due to face masks
  • Issues raised by NPF Legislature Wing
  • Webninar : How to develop skills in writings
  • Nonsensical rush for fuel
  • When the virus starts attacking
  • Manipur & the Lushai Expedition, 1871-72 #3
  • COVID-19 Status 21 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Negatives turning positive, catastrophe in wait?
  • Environmental change : Uttarakhand : Rvw
  • Empathy Campaign at Imphal Airport
  • Rejoinder by Dr. Liezietsu [21 Jul]
  • Responsible conduct- Jiribam to Thoubal
  • BJP may be in trouble..
  • The Princess & Political Agent launch : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Governor & Maharani launch Binodini's Book
  • Mount Koubru: Its dying glory, & way forward
  • Govt expenditures on education in Manipur
  • 2nd Online Career counseling in IT
  • The last of the oaks :: Poem
  • Rising cases of infection
  • Manipur today is living on mercy of Delhi
  • HSE Toppers - Commerce stream : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2020 #3: Gallery
  • Loktak Lake: A gem perishing front of our eye
  • Man behind 'Save Nambul'
  • X-rays and applications
  • COVID-19 pandemic & existential crisis
  • Training programme on mushroom cultivation
  • Best result in last three years
  • HSE Toppers - Science stream : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Understanding disasters & disaster mgmt #1
  • Salam Sangita : NE Women Success Stories
  • Subconscious Mind in COVID Era :: Poem
  • In quest of leadership
  • 4 BJP Ministers' visit to Delhi
  • HSE Toppers - Arts stream : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 17 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Between hospitals and hope
  • War on drugs: A losing battle in Manipur
  • Rays of the Setting Sun :: Poem
  • What actually LOP meant & intended : NPF
  • Rejoinder by Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu
  • Posers over Delhi trip
  • The face of justice
  • Class XII Result : Highest Marks
  • Class XII Result : Science Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Arts Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Commerce Toppers
  • Class XII Result : District PC
  • Class XII Result : Science
  • Class XII Result : Arts
  • Class XII Result : Commerce
  • COVID-19 Status 16 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Training programme on mushroom : Gallery
  • Diplomacy in Power & Leadership
  • PPE distributed to Community Health Centre
  • Think population studies as career
  • Intensify agitations as Govt fails to act
  • The Jiribam and Thoubal experience
  • Discovery of Thangjing hill range waterfall
  • Anti-Repression Day #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Accelerating rights of women, post-COVID
  • Pregnancy and mental health
  • COVID 19 Pandemic - A Thought ! :: Poem
  • Shining spot in Kangpokpi district
  • A co-incidence or something more?
  • Heritage Park @ Sangai Festival : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 14 July : Govt of Manipur
  • EEVFAM Foundation day : Gallery
  • Rise of emotionalism & loss of rationalism
  • Delimitation 4.0 in Manipur
  • 52 films compete at KASHISH 2020
  • Western slopes :: Poem
  • Batting for revival of Kamjong AC
  • Mining MoUs & Concerns in Manipur
  • COVID-19 Status 13 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Agriculture innovation to achieve food security
  • Lines for Children :: Poem
  • School business: True lies
  • 'Call for PDA Govt to step down is justified'
  • Donation of PPE to Chief Minister by SBI
  • Understanding containment zone
  • COVID-19 and the way forward
  • Licypriya low-cost 'Face Shields' : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 12 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Airlifting of organic Pineapples : Gallery
  • Annual Orphanage Visit at Pune
  • Licypriya Kangujam low-cost 'Face Shields'
  • 9th Manipuri Film Awards (MANIFA) Result
  • Twists & turns in resignation drama
  • Cheers to Tangkhul Forum of COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Status 11 July : Govt of Manipur
  • 11 July 2020 : World Population Day
  • Let the child LIVE!!!
  • You and Yours :: Poem
  • Webinar: The need of the hour
  • Tears still wet eys of extrajudicial victims widow
  • Yaoshang Halankar @BijoyGovinda #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 10 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Webninar: Re-imagine Ethnopharmacology
  • In-Situ & Ex-Situ Transmissions of COVID-19
  • Gyanendro Ningombam- Hockey President
  • Morning Prayer in COVID 19 Lockdown : Poem
  • PDA Nagaland : Meeting Resolutions
  • Wanted : Cooking Gas, Not Laughing Gas
  • The NPP conundrum
  • Save Nambul River
  • COVID-19 Status 09 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Stigma & COVID: Challenge in path to recovery
  • The mystery bird :: Poem
  • A dozen of Ministers is not enough
  • A.I in Modern Era
  • Consider cooperative as career choice
  • Time to strengthen party at grassroot level
  • Manipur & the Lushai Expedition, 1871-72 #2
  • COVID-19 Status 08 July : Govt of Manipur
  • The Flat Keys :: Poem
  • List of plenary talks @ RIST, MU
  • Combating COVID-19 by empowering youth
  • Distribution of Face Mask to Children Homes
  • Essay Writing Competition : My Idea of Justice
  • All eyes now on Thangmeiband, Jiribam
  • Barak waterfall @ Tamenglong #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 07 July : Govt of Manipur
  • NE natives dubbed as second class citizen
  • The changing trend of Media in Manipur
  • When I lost my hope :: Poem
  • Lockdown & its impacts on society
  • Understanding spirit of a coalition
  • Changing nature of Meiteilon- Pabung/Papa
  • COVID-19 Status 06 July : Govt of Manipur
  • To my goddess of love :: Poem
  • COVID-19 & 14-day quarantine in Manipur
  • Kanglen Aarti katpa #2 : Gallery
  • Eikhoigi Puwarini Nambul Turel #2 : Gallery
  • Manipur & the Lushai Expedition, 1871-72 #1
  • Eikhoigi Puwarini Nambul Turel #1 : Gallery
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #3 : Gallery
  • Takhelchangbam Kunjabihari : Wari Liba
  • I Rise :: Film Scenes : eRang
  • Class X (HSLC) Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Class X Exam 2020 : Merit List
  • Class X Exam 2020 : Result Sheet
  • Class X Exam 2020 : Subject Toppers
  • Class X Exam 2020 : Statistics Abstract
  • Motsillaba Mingsel :: eRang Photos
  • Train @Jiri [May 28] #2 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • SPONSORED ADS