The agriculture sector might have lived through the coronavirus crisis, however, it is still vulnerable to the looming threat of climate change.
As per reports, the crop production experts, the health crisis had minimum impact on the production of crops. However, it disrupted the supply of fresh fruits and vegetables across the country.
The Director-General of Agriculture (Extention) Punjab, Dr. Anjum Ali said, the coronavirus related lockdown has not caused any damage to the agriculture sector. Climate change, he cautioned, has taken a toll on crops.
“It is still hot in South Punjab. The cotton crop along with others, has been affected,” said Dr. Ali. Rain during the month of September, he said, has affected the tomato crops across the province.
“Farmers in many areas had to recultivate,” as informed by the Director-General.
Even during the lockdowns, he said, no restrictions were imposed on the agriculture sector. Now, that the lockdown is over and the situation has improved, it seems that climate change is a bigger threat to the sector.
Farmers from the province also believe the coronavirus crisis had a limited impact on the agriculture sector.
However, it has affected farmers, middlemen, and individuals, who play an important role in the supply chain.
While coronavirus had no direct impact on agriculture, the overall demand for vegetables and fruits plunged during the health crisis. Much of it was primarily due to the lockdowns that were imposed to control the spread of the respiratory disease. “During this time, farmers scrambled to find other ways to sell their crops,” said Amir Bhandara, a Punjab-based farmer. “Many farmers had no option but to destroy their produce,” he added.