COVID-19 Pandemic Induced Disruptions in Punjab Agriculture: Farm Level Evidence on Impacts and Adaptations
By using the data from a primary survey of 1100 farm households, the present study examined the impact of COVID-19 pandemic induced disruptions on Punjab agriculture. The paddy-wheat-based production system showed resilience to the challenges of the COVID-19 situation in Punjab, and farmers responded effectively to the changed equilibrium. As a result, there was no change land lease activity and the copping patterns. The pandemic had an adverse impact on the availability of agricultural machinery and inputs resulting in an increase in the rent of machinery and input prices. Disruptions in labour markets with migrant workers returning to their native states caused a significant jump in agricultural wages. The procurement system also temporarily responded well to the needs of physical distancing with the introduction of a token system for wheat to the satisfaction of majority of the farmers. The study points to the need for enhancing the resilience of various input and output markets in agriculture in the long term.