A Loss Of Markets And Theft Expected To Rise
Nair says the loss of markets will be the biggest threats for farmers IMAGE: Monticello
Farmers markets are important during COVID-19, but they need more support.
Rajneel Krishnan Nair of Nair Farms & Livestock says farmers can fill a critical health and economic gap amid the pandemic as food insecurity heightens and food supply chains are disrupted.
“The biggest threats as a result of the pandemic is the loss of markets for farmers, our markets have long increased food accessibility for low income areas while also boosting our economies.”
“But governments and development partners need to help everybody.”
“We’re seeing reduced sales and markets with ongoing distribution problems, planting materials like seeds and seedlings are short in supply, our traders are no longer buying from us, the price of livestock is rising and the support from extension services has been reduced.”
Nair said the rise in unemployment has also contributed to the loss of markets.
“People are losing their jobs and even more of them are returning to backyard gardening, and its resulted in less sales for us.”
“No income for people will also result in theft which is already increasing.”
Despite the challenges, the coronavirus pandemic is changing the way Nair works on his farm.
“We’re trying not to use any chemical on plants, and we’re trying to be more organic on foods and livestock.”
“We’re also increasing the use of social media to connect with those we work with, we have in the past worked with FRIEND and Sangam Organisation and so we’re using this time to also increase communication and awareness materials to build on mass communication campaigns.”
“Going forward, our message to farmers and farmer organisations is, if you have the means to help others who have nothing, please do so.”