Impact of COVID-19 on the Livelihoods of Rural Farmers in Uttar Pradesh, India
Keywords:COVID-19, Livelihood Vulnerability, Rural Economy, Health Vulnerability, Regional Inequalities.
AbstractThe Indian Government imposed a full lockdown in the country on March 24, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it had considerable unforeseen consequences for farmers and affected their livelihood security.The present study attempts to assess the livelihood vulnerability to COVID-19 by using field survey data of two villages in Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh. An in-depth field survey was conducted to elicit the information of householdâ€™s perceptions of COVID-19. By using the multistage sampling technique, a total of 150 samples were collected from May 15 to 30, 2020. The study results highlight that households are highly exposed to novel coronavirus and are also equally sensitive to inadequate access to clean water, sanitation and healthcare system. Households undertook a range of preventive measures including health insurance, balanced diet, stored food items, consultation with doctors, and self-quarantine to contain the serious adverse impact of COVID-19. The calculated livelihood vulnerability scores show that the households in Virjapur village are relatively highly vulnerable than those of other villages. Based on the evidence collected at the grassroots level, the present study suggests launching basic-level awareness programme (ex-ante preventive measures) in the regional languages, increasing public health budget to meet the demand and improving the supply chain, establishment of more physical and human infrastructure in the long run and developing a comprehensive plan to ensure continuous water supply in the rural areas.
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