COVID-19 and Indian Agriculture: From Crisis to Opportunities

June 2021 | Vol. I, Issue 1

It gives me great pleasure to announce the launch of a new quarterly publication — Agri-Food Trends and Analytics Bulletin (AF-TAB) — by  ICRIER’s Agriculture Policy, Sustainability and Innovation (APSI) team. The inception of this publication coincides with the beginning of my journey at ICRIER, as well as marks the 40th year of ICRIER’s founding. It is a delight to be a part of this novel effort that seeks to present the repertoire of APSI’s research in a succinct manner for a diverse audience beyond the boundaries of ICRIER. This first issue brings together seemingly disparate issues in the agriculture sector to a coherent narrative by highlighting the role of the government in times of pandemic. It draws from the team’s research during the April-June quarter to anchor the research findings around three crucial events: the frightening resurgence of COVID-19, escalating food prices, and record government procurement of wheat and rice. Prima facie these events seem discrete. But the articles bind them along a single thread, which is that of governance. While the pandemic makes the need for strengthening safety nets felt more palpably, the modality of such safety nets and allied issues of government interventions for price support and control become more pressing than ever. The pandemic has been a body-blow to this country, and we are still reeling under its threat. But it is also the time for renewal and revival. At this juncture an evidence-based, analytical publication like this one, holds the potential to inform our policymakers to rebuild a more resilient India. And because of this glimmer of hope, we at ICRIER, have lovingly named the publication AF-TAB, which (minus that small hyphen) also means “the sunshine”