Impact of COVID-19 on food security: Insights from Telangana, India

Ravula, P and Kasala, K and Ray, S (2020) Impact of COVID-19 on food security: Insights from Telangana, India. Agricultural Economics Research Review, 33 (167). pp. 167-168. ISSN 0974-0279

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COVID-19undermines food security both directly, by disturbing food systems, and indirectly, through the impacts of lockdowns on household incomes and physical access to food especially in the developing nations. The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) a telephonic survey based on a questionnaire developed by the NNEdPro Global Centre for Nutrition and Health, during July -August 2020 to understand the different perspectives of prevailing COVID-19crisis in urban, peri-urban, rural and tribal areas of Telangana, India. About 40 households were randomly selected for this survey covering urban, peri-urban, rural and tribal locations of Telangana. These households were recruited as respondents for previous surveys by ICRISAT for different projects. The NNEdPro survey questionnaire was adapted and translated into local language for better understanding of the surveyor as well as the participant and probe questions were added to elicit detailed information. Informed audio consent was undertaken through a secure mobile phone system and individual interviews were conducted to elicit data regarding the agriculture and food security situation during the COVID-19crisis in their respective locations. The recorded data were transcribed by enumerators and later translated into English language. Mixed responses evolved regarding agriculture and losses incurred during COVID-19crisis. In case of urban and peri-urban locations, information on agriculture, especially post-harvest losses, due to lack of access to markets was projected and the source of information was mostly through media such as television news, newspaper, and radio. In case of tribal areas, millets and cereals were procured by the government agricultural department at the farm gate and thereby no losses were incurred by farmers who grew cereals and millets. The farmers who grew vegetables incurred losses due to lack of transport to the nearby markets during the complete lockdown. As the vegetables are perishable goods, and due to shortage of labour for harvesting the produce, they incurred postharvest losses. Consumption of cereals and pulses distributed through the Public Distribution System (PDS) has increased at the household level in peri-urban areas. Consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and spices has also increased in both urban and peri urban locations. There was no change in the number of meals consumed; quantity of meals was voluntarily reduced due to low physical activity and being confined to homes; home cooking was the most preferred way of cooking meals. Outside food and junk food were almost eliminated in the diets of the urban and peri-urban areas. In case of tribal areas, the adolescents and school age children lost their nutritious meals that were served either in their residential schools or midday meals in the government schools. There also emerged some differences between complete lockdown that was in place in late March and early April 2020 and the lockdown with fewer restrictions during June-July 2020. Similarly, the effect of food security at the household and individual level emerged differently across locations as well as during different periods.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : Innovation Systems for the Drylands (ISD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: COVID-19, Agriculture, Food security, Urban, Peri-urban, Rural, Tribal
Subjects: Others > Agriculture
Others > Rural Development
Others > Rural Economy
Others > Food Security
Depositing User: Mr Arun S
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2021 07:05
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2021 07:05
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: The authors duly acknowledge the support from several collabourations listed for funding the household level surveys which are used for analysis in this paper. Apart from TIGR2ESS collabouration, other collabourating partners to which the team belongs include-for urban and peri-urban locations, it is Sweden Agricultural University funded by FORMAS and for rural locations, it is funded by Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. For tribal locations, the collabourators are Cambridge University (UK), University of Reading(UK), Government of Telangana. We are also sincerely thankful to our participants, men and women inhabiting the urban, peri-urban, rural and tribal villages in Telangana for kindly extending their support in providing their valuable data/evidence through telephonic survey.
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