12 February 2021

Research pick: Agricultural resilience during Covid - "Impact of COVID-19 on agriculture supply chain in India and the proposed solutions"

The Inderscience Research Picks this week focuses on how online resources are helping people cope in different ways with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Each day, we will highlight and discuss a paper from the publication the International Journal of Web-based Communities (Issue 1, volume 17, 2021)

This week, we have already talked about working, education, and socialising during the Covid-19 pandemic. This fifth paper homes in on some of the problems facing agriculture in India during this difficult period and offers some solutions.

Shantanu Trivedi and Neeraj Anand of the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies in Dehradun, India, and colleague Saurav Negi of the Modern College of Business and Science in Muscat, Oman, have analysed the agricultural supply chain in the Uttarakhand region based on semi-structured interviews with farmers, wholesalers, and retailers in order to find ways that the industry might be endowed with greater resilience in the time of Covid.

They found that interstate supply issues are problematic at this time and moreover, they found that transportation restrictions, labour shortages, inefficient cold-chain facilities, panic buying, fluctuation in prices, and a lack of collectors/aggregators have all conspired to cause disruption. Ultimately, the issue derives from the requirement that each stage and each transaction has historically required physical interaction.

Face-to-face and other physical interactions would be to some extent unnecessary if information and communications technologies (ICT) could take up the slack on such roles. Indeed, ICT in many spheres has replaced much of the conventional interaction and allowed efficiency to be improved across endless industries. Moreover, ICT is now critical to sustaining those industries while healthcare services and medical science work to overcome the pandemic.

“A knowledge-based view can help in developing a pandemic resilient agriculture supply chain network to support the continuous supply of food products from farm to fork, the team writes.

Trivedi, S., Negi, S. and Anand, N. (2020) ‘Impact of COVID-19 on agriculture supply chain in India and the proposed solutions’, Int. J. Sustainable Agricultural Management and Informatics, Vol. 6, No. 4, pp.359–380.

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