Supplying a nation in lockdown

Indian agriculture sector’s vital position in the nation’s fight against coronavirus

On March 23, India’s Prime Minister Modi had called for a lock down affecting the whole nation to fight off the SARS-CoV 2 virus. So far, measures appear to have contributed successfully to halting the further spread of the virus. In order not to jeopardize what had been achieved so far, the government recently announced that the lockdown will be extended at least until May 3. Right from the beginning, agricultural businesses had been exempted from the lockdown on a large scale in acknowledgement of their important position in the supply of the people with quality, healthy food.

Quality food, especially nutritious protein from meat, eggs and dairy products, are in such times more important than ever to secure a nation’s health and resistance. It is therefore reassuring to know that in spite of comprehensive lockdown measures, national as well as international production of feed and food is still up and running and supply chains are functioning.

After the government issued permits for feed transport—mainly soya and maize—in response to enquiries from the Karnataka Poultry Farmers’ and Breeders’ Association, poultry farms were able to continue their work despite the lockdown. Encouragingly, demand for poultry rose visibly again most recently after the severe slump in February. Hopes are now on further governmental measures to stabilize poultry farms and assist them through the present crisis.

After all, with India being the 3rd largest egg producing country in the world and no. 4 in chicken meat production, the Indian poultry industry with more than 10,000 farmers generates a revenue of nearly 17 billion US-dollars per year. Therefore, if the industry comes through the crisis safely and emerges from it stronger, the positive consequences for the Indian economy as well as for the supply of healthy, safe food to the people of India will certainly be great.