Impact of COVID-19 – Digest 10: Agriculture
Income from farm agriculture of Bangladesh declined by 58% in April 2020 if compared to the income in April 2019. Total household income declined by 61% for the farmers in April 2020 if compared to the income in April 2019. 57% of the farmers may discontinue cultivation in the next cropping cycle. 44% have credit with input sellers. Average credit is TK 12, 298. This can have catastrophic impact on the input supply chain. 53% of the farmers are seeking loans. They want average TK 29,775 for the next cropping cycle. While they already have an outstanding loan of TK 35,010 per household. 70% of the farm households have reduced consumption of protein. 53% have started to divest savings.
Bangladesh is facing an imminent threat to food security. Input supply chain needs to be restored through import subsidies. Loans should be targeted towards input sellers. Farmers need seasonal loan from MFIs. Overall, they need loan rescheduling. We need to map the country’s production system for the next cycle and develop a national strategy for production, purchase and marketing. Private and public sector will have to work on this together. Transportation cost needs to be brought down.
This survey was conducted by Innovision Consulting Private Limited with the aim to map out the impact of Covid-19 on farmers’ income related to agriculture, their copping strategies and derive policy recommendations to Bangladesh government. Read the survey report HERE.