Expanded opportunities are possible for smallholder farmers in India if the right policies are enacted in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, TCI Director Prabhu Pingali said during “COVID-19: Impacts and New Normal in Agriculture,” an online forum hosted on June 5 by the Indian National Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
The theme of the event was re-envisioning a “new normal” in Indian agriculture after COVID-19. Pingali was invited to speak about the future of food production and supply chains in India. He noted two prominent areas for growth: increasing income opportunities for smallholder agriculture systems and expanding employment in the rural non-farm sector.
“Small- and marginal-farm-dominated agricultural sector development can happen only if rural growth is linked to urban growth and development,” Pingali said. “Effectively responding to growing urban demand for diversified higher value crops can lead to income opportunities and growth of rural non-farm employment. The COVID-19 crisis has brought an opportunity to bring new thinking to policy to support the linkage.”