The Coronavirus Pandemic: Addressing the Food Crisis In India

13 April 2020

Listen to the 36th episode of ThoughtSpace (above) featuring Pravesh Sharma, Dr Mekhala Krishnamurthy and Yamini Aiyar.

The agriculture economy in India came to halt with the 21-day national lockdown. Supply chains have broken down, labour is in short supply and there has been a surge in food prices, leading to a drop in food availability. This comes at a time when farmers were gearing up to harvest the rabi crop and have raised issues about the difficulty anticipated in harvesting and brining the crop to market. What role does agriculture play as we think about the economic consequences of COVID-19, and what can India do to ensure that challenges we’ve experienced in the past 21 days do not extend further?

In the fourth episode on the Centre for Policy Research’s series on the coronavirus pandemic, Yamini Aiyar, President & Chief Executive of CPR, speaks with Pravesh Sharma, former IAS officer and CEO of Kamatan Farms Pvt. Ltd., and Dr Mekhala Krishnamurthy, Senior Fellow at CPR. Sharma and Krishnamurthy talk about why food supply chains have broken down, what the lockdown means for the farmer, and what the Indian government should be doing to ensure both farmers and consumers are protected.

They recommend a revival of government procurement and the mandi within the next few week so farmers can continue trading, while ensuring that all aspects of the supply chain remodel themselves to the new normal of social distancing.

This is the fourth in a series of episodes by the Centre for Policy Research on the unfolding coronavirus pandemic in India. You can follow the Centre’s work on Covid-19 on Twitter or visit You can listen to all the episodes in the Coronavirus Conversation series here.

The views shared belong to individual faculty and researchers and do not represent an institutional stance on the issue.