COVID-19 Induced Lockdown Effects on Agricultural Commodity Prices and Consumer Behaviour in India – Implications for Food Loss and Waste Management

Cariappa AGA, Acharya KK, Adhav CA, Sendhil R and P Ramasundaram (2021). COVID-19 induced lockdown effects on agricultural commodity prices and consumer behaviour in India – Implications for food loss and waste management. Socio-Economic Planning Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seps.2021.101160

57 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2020 Last revised: 30 Sep 2021

See all articles by A G Adeeth Cariappa

A G Adeeth Cariappa

ICAR - National Dairy Research Institute

Kamlesh Kumar Acharya

National Dairy Research Institute - Department of Dairy Economics, Statistics & Management

Chaitanya Ashok Adhav

ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute - Department of Dairy Economics, Statistics and Management

Sendhil R

ICAR-Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research

P. Ramasundaram

Indian Council of Agricultural Research

Date Written: August 27, 2020

Abstract

Distortion in distribution and consumption of agricultural commodities is a result of disruptive shocks in prices and food value chains leading to a significant food loss as well as waste. We investigated the COVID-19 induced lockdown effects in India through an interrupted time series analysis coupled with a survey result of 729 consumers, 225 farmers and synthesis of the literature evidence on food loss as well as food waste. Our article complements the literature inventory on COVID-19 by estimating and tracking the effects on prices and consumer behaviour in the long-run apart from discussing the implications for food loss and waste. Prices post-lockdown shot up immediately and significantly for chickpea (4.8%), mung bean (5.2%), and tomato (78.2%) corroborating the loss in highly perishable product – tomato – owing to its spiked price. We find no structural break in prices due to lockdown implying that lockdown-induced price change was not sufficient to alter the long-run price movement, and the prices of the major commodities reverted to the pre-lockdown levels. The pandemic induced lockdown did restrict the access to food markets and a majority of consumers (75.31%) experienced a price increase across COVID zones of different intensity of incidence leading to food loss along supply chain and wastage at consumers end. Consumers’ livelihood affected from moderate (59.53%) to severe (3.3%) with 92 per cent reporting a change in shopping behavior. The Kruskal-Wallis test on consumption behavior change indicated a significant shift among the consumers reporting altered income, mostly in the downside, post-lockdown. Despite the relaxation for agricultural related activities during the lockdown, farmers reported disruption in disposing their winter produce barring wheat, bolstered by a record state procurement in 2020. The paper affirms that the pandemic has caused a significant price change and unprecedented panic purchase that led to the food wastage but subsided soon exhibiting the resilience in Indian agriculture. We strongly recommend for promoting the capacity and collective resilience of small-scale production systems through institutions, policies and reforms. Contract farming, farmer producer organizations, creation and functioning of social safety nets to overcome income, production and price shocks, access to digital national markets and capacity building on food waste management practices will insulate vulnerable section as well as reduce the loss of food across supply chain.

Keywords: COVID-19, retail and wholesale price, supply disruption, interrupted time series, food waste, food loss

JEL Classification: D12, E31, Q11, Q18, Q13, L51

Suggested Citation

Cariappa, A G Adeeth and Acharya, Kamlesh Kumar and Adhav, Chaitanya Ashok and R, Sendhil and Ramasundaram, P., COVID-19 Induced Lockdown Effects on Agricultural Commodity Prices and Consumer Behaviour in India – Implications for Food Loss and Waste Management (August 27, 2020). Cariappa AGA, Acharya KK, Adhav CA, Sendhil R and P Ramasundaram (2021). COVID-19 induced lockdown effects on agricultural commodity prices and consumer behaviour in India – Implications for food loss and waste management. Socio-Economic Planning Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seps.2021.101160, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3680634 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3680634

A G Adeeth Cariappa

ICAR - National Dairy Research Institute ( email )

Karnal, Haryana 132001
India
+919741000909 (Phone)

Kamlesh Kumar Acharya

National Dairy Research Institute - Department of Dairy Economics, Statistics & Management ( email )

Karnal (Haryana) 132 001
India
9437204130 (Phone)

Chaitanya Ashok Adhav

ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute - Department of Dairy Economics, Statistics and Management ( email )

Karnal (Haryana) 132 001
India

Sendhil R (Contact Author)

ICAR-Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research ( email )

PO Box 158, Agarsain Marg
Karnal, 132001
India
132001 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://iiwbr.icar.gov.in/team_member/dr-r-sendhil/

P. Ramasundaram

Indian Council of Agricultural Research ( email )

Krishi Anusandhan Bhavan II
Pusa
New Delhi 110012, Delhi 110012
India
9716134485 (Phone)
110012 (Fax)

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