Impact of COVID-19 on Food Security
The livelihood of a common man depends on what we usually call “Roti Kapada Aur Makan”.
So, in these three elements one of the main elements is food that is a necessity for human survival. Due to current circumstances of the virus crippling down the whole supply chain system, there is an alarming issue about food security. Border restrictions and travels bans across the world are slowing down the harvest in some parts of the world, leaving seasonal workers unemployed while also disturbing the transportation mechanism of the food grains to the markets. Farmers have been burying perishable produce or draining the milk due to supply chain disruption and low levels of demand. The economic shocks caused by the COVID-19 has devastated many small producers, agri-business and high unemployment of farmworkers have disturbed this sector financially.
In some parts of India, the crops were destroyed due to lack of equipment for harvesting the crop. Most of the harvesting equipment is rented in India and so due to travel restrictions, the machines were not able to come at the right time for harvesting the crops. Then there are many Floriculturists across the world who are facing low demands due to curb on gatherings and ceremonials. Last, not the least a locust attack hit many countries leading to huge destruction of crops.
So, in these times of scarcity of crops, there are questions of food security arising in the minds of every individual. So, what is food security? It is that every individual at all times has physical and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preference for an active and healthy life. So what governments are doing to mitigate this risk of Food Insecurity?
Kerala started a model of giving free ration for all for one month meaning that the government will provide 35kg of rice for below poverty lines families. Then 15 kg of rice for others through the Public Distribution System and Kerala state Civil Supplies. Then Kerala government also worked on kit distribution worth INR 1000 comprising 17 items in fixed proportions. This was distributed to every household regardless of their income through the Public distribution system. Similar models were adopted by many other states eventually to fight this pandemic. The Defense food Research Laboratory (DFRL) is an Indian food research organization responsible to feed India under disaster conditions and provide infrastructure to produce tonnes of ready to eat food with a longer shelf life. The private sector is also participating in this job by sponsoring meals in government canteens for poor families. Under the PM-KISAN program in the Union Budget 2020–21 an amount of Rs. 75,000 was allocated. So advance release of money through this scheme was initiated in response to COVID-19. Then for credit requirements of this sector the government has taken some steps to inject credit flow in this sector.
So, we need to fight this pandemic together and support everyone. Let’s take all the necessary steps required to keep ourselves and everyone safe.
At Mitti Ke Rang, we started with a COVID-19 community support fundraising, as an emergency response to provide a safety net to families. This will help them survive in the lockdown period. We aim to directly support these families by providing a minimum wage, through transferring the same into their accounts or partner with local NGO, Organisation, Fellow, or a Volunteer and support them with groceries.
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