The COVID-19 Induced Disruptions across Groundnut Value Chain: Empirical Evidence from South India
We study the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the groundnut value chain and all the actors involved in its value chain in Ananthapuramu district of Andhra Pradesh, a leading groundnut producing state in south India. The results revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic created a double burden on farmers by disrupting farm production on one side and decreased diet diversity on the other. Disruption in farm productions resulted in a decline in household income and increased consumer food prices. The effect on farmers snowballed to other actors in the value chain, and all the actors were affected variably. Availability of storage infrastructure would have saved the farmer’s household income to some extent during the pandemic. Supply of diverse nutrient foods through the existing public distribution system, which mostly provides wheat and rice, might have helped tackle the diet diversity issue amongst farmers. Farmer’s collectives were perceived to reduce the negative impact during natural disasters like the COVID-19 pandemic by helping to organise smallholder farmers, minimise transaction costs and increase their bargaining power. In addition, effective farm extension services, including market information, could have benefited farmers during the crisis.