The government today announced the second set of stimulus measures targeted at the migrant workers, small farmers and the impoverished, as part of its nine major packages. The aim is to create an impact going well beyond the immediate Covid-19 situation and creating long-term resilience for the small and marginal farming community.
India is currently about to enter the fourth phase of nationwide lockdown and no sector has been able to withstand its devastating impact. About 85% of Indian farmers are small or marginal, who already grapple with many issues in practicing agriculture like access to quality inputs and knowledge, dependence on monsoon, lack of marketing infrastructure and affordable finance. The Covid–19 situation has amplified the problems. Due to lack of market access and disruptions in the supply chains, the crop losses have shot up to record highs. Agriculture labour shortage has led to human drudgery at farm level and inability to harvest produce. All this has also led to a shortfall of working capital in the agrarian supply chain. Almost all stakeholders are facing working a capital crunch in varying levels. Given these conditions, infusion of capital and creation of liquidity for the farmers had