Agriculture has emerged as the most sustainable profession, business and Industry during COVID 19. At least in Pakistan, it has remained the least disturbed segment of life during COVID 19 epidemic. People that are directly or indirectly linked with agriculture are less affected in comparison to other segments.
Production & Supply:
At present there is no food shortage in the world. Production of agricultural products has not yet been affected by COVID 19. However shortage of labor is being reported in developed countries which may hinder the production operations in the future.
On the other hand, in the developing countries, no shortage of labor has been observed. However small scale farmers producing fruits and vegetables are on high risk for post harvest operations, as transportation is not readily available in remote areas. Similarly, lack of storage and handling facilities for perishable fruits and vegetables may result in loss for the farmers.
Borders of almost all countries are closed and blocked. Flight operations have been stopped, causing great impact on import and export of fruits and vegetables at the global level. Lack of storage and handling facilities in developing and under developed countries may result in loss of perishable fruits and vegetables at mass level. However, grains can be easily stored and handled.
Consumption of agricultural products has been affected by COVID 19. On one hand, household consumption patterns remain the same, but on the other hand, the consumption of meat, fruits, vegetables at hotels, restaurants and workplaces have declined significantly. Consumption of agricultural products at Food manufacturing units has also not been affected. In some areas, mostly urban, the demand of agri products has increased as a result of the lock down. Due to the fear factor, people started storing food products in high quantity to secure food supply in the coming days.
The overall state of agri businesses (demand and supply) involving inputs such as crops/ fruits/ vegetables, fertilizers, seeds and pesticides etc have not yet been significantly affected by COVID 19. However, the situation might worsen if the pandemic is prolonged further.
Agrobased textile and other industries are semi operational in different countries. Each country has allowed its industries to to operate keeping in view different priorities including export orders, supply of masks and PPEs for hospitals, domestic demand of essential products etc.