Covid-19 Pandemic in India has led to mass reverse migration of labour from the urban centres to their rural roots. Since announcement of the unavoidable first phase of lock-down on Mar 23 2020, by the honourable Prime Minister of India, the economic activities came to a standstill. Most industrial centres and the states that provided jobs to the rural migrants could not support them anymore. Extension of lock-down after the first phase of 21 days led to un-anticipated hardships for the migrant labourers.
Living within means comes naturally to a Smallholder Farmer (SHF) in India. It is estimated that almost 70% of Indian farmers are SHFs. It is also true that Small Scale Enterprises (SSEs) account for the bulk of industrial production in the country.
In the first part of this two-part series, we covered how enhanced cost efficiencies and farm productivity can boost the agricultural sector’s contribution to India becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2025.
Agriculture is one of the most important drivers of the Indian economy. As per the World Bank’s ‘World Development Indicators’ survey released in Dec 2019, the agriculture sector employs around 43% of India’s population and as per the ‘Economic Survey 2019-20’ presented by the Hon. Finance Minister, Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman in Jan 2020, agriculture contributes 16.5% to the country’s Gross Value Added (GVA).