COVID-19 Challenging Period and Agriculture Sector in Sri Lanka: Way to Lead
Asian Journal of Advances in Agricultural Research,
Realizing the gravity of COVID-19 pandemic, the governments around the world have been putting in place a range of policies and strategies to resume their food security level. Among varies of agricultural productions, most affected sectors are livestock farming, horticulture production. In this line, understanding the impact of COVID-19 on horticulture system is likely to become more widely and deeply felt in agricultural sectors and national economies. This study aims to highlight potential risks faced by; outlines the overall functioning of Sri Lankan horticulture sector during the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss policies need to change going forward to safeguard Sri Lankan horticulture sector from similar shocks in the future. The production and market data gathered from Agricultural Statistics, Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute (HARTI), Department of Census and Statistics and Export Development Board which were gathered over years between 2016 and 2020. The data contain production quantity, average cultivated extent, retail and wholesale price per Kg, export quantity and value of fruit and vegetable products. Descriptive analysis methods used as the primary analysis techniques. The results imply that there is no declining pattern of all vegetables and fruits production volume. From the retail prices and wholesale prices, we can materialize that the supply chains in the agricultural products have strained to keep up, first with panic buying, followed by forced changes in food consumption patterns and immediate declined with the dropdown in purchasing power. The agricultural export sector is seemed to experience smaller trade impacts, most agricultural exports have continued to reach consumers in international markets. The pandemic is driving some changes that will likely remain part of the future agricultural practices. These include encouraging home garden practices, shifts in online marketing and selling platform, having higher demand for stable and safe food, a greater awareness of supply chain risks, increasing use of digital trade systems and the risk of creeping protectionism. Accordingly, agriculture policies need to change to safeguard of Sri Lankan horticulture sector from similar shocks in the future.
- descriptive analysis
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