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Data | Market arrivals dip, procurement delays: How COVID-19 impacted agriculture


After the lockdown was imposed, the price of wheat dropped below the Minimum Support Price level which means that farmers were forced to sell at low prices

Due to the stringent lockdown, the quantity of agricultural produce arriving in markets reduced substantially. This combined with delayed and poor procurement of farm produce forced farmers to sell at cheaper prices than expected. Both market arrivals and prices have seen a revival lately, but are still a far cry from the pre-lockdown levels.

Out of the market

The chart depicts the daily market arrivals of 302 farm products into 2,938 Indian markets in 2018 (represented by the green line), 2019 (represented by the blue line) and 2020 (represented by the red line). Market arrivals dropped to very low levels during the first phase of the lockdown though subsequent phases saw a marginal revival.

How much were arrivals affected?

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Vegetable shortfall

The chart depicts the daily market arrival of potato and onion between March 15 and May 17 for 2019 (represented by the green line) and 2020 (represented by the orange line) into 3,000 mandis across India. At the end of lockdown 3.0 on May 17, the gap in potato arrivals between 2019 and 2020 was 7.85 lakh tonnes (-48%). For onion, it was 12.65 lakh tonnes (-59%).

How much was the shortfall?

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Poor support

Government procurement of farm products started  in most States after a two-week delay. The chart shows the nationwide procurement of wheat between the 13th and 28th weeks of 2018 (represented in red), 2019 (represented in green) and 2020 (represented in blue).

How much was procured?

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Poor prices

The graph shows the price of wheat in select markets. After the lockdown was imposed, the price of wheat dropped below the Minimum Support Price (MSP) level, which means farmers were forced to sell at low prices.

By how much did prices fall?

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Sources: COVID-19 Lockdown: Impact on Agriculture and Rural Economy, Vikas Rawal et al., DDL COVID India

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