Corona’s Collapsed Economy – Agriculture Could be the Main Dynamic Force of the Economy
“In such a situation, it might be the major challenge for those countries with low economies, comprising Bangladesh- feeding a huge population. People consume more food with different tastes if they spend hours after hours at home”. .. “Even if there is money there are fears that there would be no food available at any moment.”
It is essential to understand, what would be the situation of the world economy due to Corona! Its main target is the micro-economy of populated countries like Bangladesh. How worst would be this situation – is still unpredictable. It can take many years, or even many decades, to recover from the catastrophe in the world economy from tremendous disasters like COVID-19.
So far, the main driving force of the global economy was industrial production, and agriculture became the second. After 1750 when the industrial revolution started, the wheels of the economy were running like rockets because of the industries. But the drive has been stopped because of the virus which is known as COVID-19 Corona.
Scientists believe that the age of the Earth is about 4.8 billion years. And People attained on Earth 2.5 million years ago. From about 12000 years ago, people started farming and the agricultural revolution began in the sixteenth century.
Before the period of the industrial revolution in 1750, agriculture was the only driving force of the global economy. The industry has also delivered energy to agriculture. As a result of the modernization of agriculture and the strength of the industries became the power of art. Presently agriculture is able to deliver food to the world population which is about 7.75 billion (as per the live report of WORLDOMETER). However, the world could not be free from starvation because of ruthlessness and resentment.
Because of the COVID-19 Corona Virus World economy based on industries are now collapsed. It is also possible to argue that, it might affect agricultural production.
Agriculture can be the only alternative to survive on earth in the present and in near-future and in this interim situation, agriculture can only sustain the earth. The agricultural and food production sector can be the only source to meet the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, and health of such a huge population in the world. Now the country which can produce more agricultural products and secure the agricultural sector will have a better and prospectus future in the world.
Let’s consider a country like Bangladesh, with a huge population and a small economy as an example, A large part of the educated and working population of this country is working in different countries of the world to earn foreign currencies and the country don’t need to provide food for those people. However,
millions of Bangladeshi emigrants have come back to the country recently since the earth has started affecting by Corona and many people are unable to return because of the interruption of global communication due to coronavirus. Those who are stuck and staying in a situation of life and death in the twilight must rush back to the motherland when the situation is a bit better,
Hopefully, the world will be free from corona soon, but the situation of the world economy will not be easy to return to the shape as it was and who’s been living in exile permanently and almost forgot their country, may return to the country because of the situation.
There are mainly three issues which of this group of emigrants returning from overseas can put pressure on the small economy of the countries, like Bangladesh.
- Remittance can be drastically reduced,
- Food crisis may be raised due to additional food supply’s requirement, and
- They will be completely unemployed. Because of the emigrants will not be able to engage in any productive activities. As it was seen in the past that emigrants prefer to live comfortably in the home country when they returned home.
On the other hand, there are well educated, half-educated and less educated people who are involved in industrial production in the country, if the exports are about to clog up those industries will be closed gradually, and they will be unemployed too. In addition, import-export businesses, transport workers, owners, professionals are going to out of work as a deadly burden for the country.
The huge population, who are involved in small and medium traders will be the prime victims of COVID-19. These populations cannot be easily integrated into other productive activities, including agriculture.
It will take time for exports to rise as before, while the world becomes free from Corona. Moreover, once this structure has become sluggish or collapsed, It will take time to start again and become strong. Once closed, it may take time for industries to re-operate the types of machinery, then in some cases, renovations/restorations may also be required.
On the other hand, due to postponement of production or export, ready products to sell overseas may be wasted for long time storage, existing raw materials may have the same condition, and It will take time to supply new raw materials as well. However, it will take a long time for industrial production to restart and to restore its current structure, including transport.
At present, the incomes of people are padlocked because of the corona, and Peoples are now being forced to spend lives on their savings. However, it will also take a lot of time to earn the ability to buy basic products, even if the world is free from Corona. Therefore, there is substantial doubt that small, medium and large businesses that are unemployed can be easily raised.
In such a situation, providing food for such a large population can be a major challenge for the countries that have a lower economy, including Bangladesh. People eat more and various food if they stay at home.
And for now, they have to stay in their home as unemployed because of the Corona. As a consequence, it increases food pressure. In this situation, it is highly likely that the current food-based statistics will be inaccurate on the basis of population; it is not just only in Bangladesh, but the whole of the world. Moreover, there is an issue of extra food for people who are returning from abroad, In many countries like Bangladesh,
It is to be recalled that in the current world not only the COVID-19 Coronavirus shake the city’s vibes, but also it stopped living in the remote villages. Along with that, the supply of fertilizers, medicines, and other agricultural equipment may have to shut down. So, the production of agriculture may get affected several times. There are fears that even there is money, food will not be available.
Therefore, populated countries with a micro-economy like Bangladesh should reduce investment in non-productive infrastructure construction sectors such as bridges, culverts, road construction, building and beauty enhancement in the next few years, and it is better to stop such development for a certain period of time. And should provide continue countless support to the agriculture sector and agricultural food security.
There are some ways by which the government can increase investment in agricultural projects and increase food productions by providing protection to agriculture are the following:
- 1. Providing loans to the farmers on a need-basis with simple terms and conditions, and if possible, distribution and supply of agricultural equipment such as seeds, fertilizers, and land farming, crops harvesting, etc. among the farmers for free.
- 2. Ensuring no land will be wasted keeping as barrel land due to the lack of irrigation facilities, or even a small amount of agricultural land which is not covered by agriculture.
- 3. Providing training in hands-on science-based practices and guidelines for planting crops, the procedure of irrigation and the use of fertilizers, keeping the crops field free from weeding, harvesting, strewing, drying, and preservation of harvested crops at home. Arrangements of training and counseling can be done farmers’ house to house or in neighborhoods. In this case, the Ministry of Agriculture can organize free training on the processing and preservation of corps and construction of related infrastructure properly.
- 4. Bringing the fallow lands under the agricultural production, and in those areas where peoples and emigrants in urban areas have left their agricultural lands received by inheritance or by purchasing or buying them. All those lands received via inheritance shall be brought back to the agriculture by enforcing laws. There are a lot of similar agricultural land in some districts of Bangladesh like Barisal, Sylhet,
- 5. Ensuring that crop damage will not happen due to natural disasters like floods, tides, droughts, sea surges, etc. As a part of pre-preparation for this, flood control and drainage facilities to be well established immediately. For this breach closing, repairing/reconstruction/rehabilitation and strengthening of the embankments have to be completed before the upcoming monsoon. And also ensuring the smart drainage facilities by the excavation of the canals/drainage channels as well as repairing/ reconstruction or replacement of the damaged sluices/regulators to be completed immediately so that no crop in the field be damaged due to waterlogging.
- 6. Recently, it is seen, that there is a lot of lands which were used for three times paddy production now it’s been used for flowers and tobacco and freshwater fish cultivation. It should be brought back for paddy production immediately for 2 to 3 years. It is important to remember that the flower and fish business is bound to collapse if the food crisis occurs. So, this type of production will be in gain.
- 7. The biggest disadvantage of the farmers is the repayment of the loan to the lender as well as maintain family expenditure, they are forced to sell their crops at a low price just after harvesting. In many cases, the crops are only being sold at a low price due to lack of proper storage and knowledge of proper preservation process. In that case, the arrangement of the bank loan system in proper ways and respective training activities among them can solve this biggest problem.
In this case, the government can create a database of the real farmers, and agricultural cards can be circulated among them. Although the government of Bangladesh has begun to take action on these issues it has to be more strengthened and accelerated. Whenever needed, the army can be assigned to fix these significant issues.
And during the distribution of bank loans among the farmers it will better to make the loan facilities witnessed to the farmer’s family members instead of rural heads, influential. In doing so actually all the amount of loans will be reached to the farmers, and the anonymous loans will have become sealed. And the loan will also be repaid in time. Because farmers are more truthful and obedient comparing the other communities in society.
- 8. If there is a food crisis in the country, Whenever the prices of essential commodities increase, farmers usually eat up of their preserved seeds or sell out those of its. As a result, latter they face the problem of cultivating agriculture due to the seed crisis. In that case, additional seed preservation measures can be taken by the seed conservation department under the Agriculture Corporation.
- 9. The rickshaw is an absolutely unproductive sector in Bangladesh. Millions of well-working manpower are wasting their efforts and the future in this sector. This unproductive sector cannot be defeated in terms of exploitation. For this sector, the labor crisis has been created in the agricultural sector. On the other hand, slums have been established in this city due to this work. The slum is the springs of terrorists, drug dealers, and all crimes.
People are leaving the rural and being migrated to the cities only to be a rickshaw-puller. Due to the availability of huge Rickshaws, the dwellers are being eroded the habits of walking even to pass half km of distance. The consequences of that, city dwellers are becoming burdened for the nation by becoming dysfunctional and diseased at an early age. On the other hand, millions of working hours are being wasted every day as a result of traffic jams because of rickshaws. Now COVID-19 brought an opportunity to easily return the active force to the agricultural sector. Apparently, the government will not face any pressure from the politics as well as from the hiding beneficiaries’ groups. For this purpose, rickshaw garages and construction factories can be barred, and demolish all the rickshaws including those having properly licensed after the acquisition of its. The fastest bulky vehicles will occupy that space If there is no rickshaw in the road, And the practice of cycling instead will be developed among the city dwellers which is also a part of green traveling that will keep the city dwellers fit for a long time of their ages.
To support the agriculture sector, a high-level task force committee on agriculture may be formed with the public and private experts under the direct supervision of the Head of the Government.
In the current context, small and medium traders may get into trouble. All the trades, business, shops have been closed except groceries and pharmacy.