Supply Chain Disruption in Agriculture
The human population is facing catastrophic outcomes inflicted by the pandemic. While this is not something new and the world has faced these challenges time and again in the form of Spanish flu, MERS and others. But the effects of any pandemic on the agriculture industry are inexplicable.
The agriculture industry is one of the crucial industries in any country; if there is a disruption in the food production or supply, it causes panic among the population. For example, the USA is among the top 5 countries in wheat production. Any disruption in wheat supply could affect the American region and around 2.5 billion people worldwide who consume wheat.
Global food security is crucial in the current scenario, where people are already suffering the social breakdown with the measures such as social distancing, less interaction in person, and other measures to reduce the infection rate.
How could supply chain disruption in agriculture affect the population in developing countries?
Many developing countries import wheat. Countries such as Algeria, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and others import wheat from wheat surplus countries. As it is a staple diet in many countries, the disruption could send shock waves across these nations.
Such events could give rise to scenarios, where consumers would accumulate stock in huge numbers for future purposes. All this could have a negative impact on the general well-being of the consumers.
In such cases, developing countries should come forward to find a way to resolve this challenge. It could be a victory for both the supplier and the consumer.
Has the recent disruption in the supply chain, changed the food habits of people?
When large nations followed strict lockdown rules, it became increasingly difficult to import processed foods. In the current times, the youth population is hooked to food items, that are agricultural produce processed and stored for a long time. Many of these products are imported, so when countries closed their borders to contain the infection rate, it started affecting the food habits of the people.
People started looking for alternate options that could fulfil their needs. And it is observed that the shift was mainly to fresh produce. Pandemic made the consumers realize that health should be the priority above anything else. Also, this product is easily available at the nearest market. But sometimes, these fresh agricultural items were also not available as the strict movement of vehicles created a disparity in the demand and supply. People started relying on local products that can be stored for a longer time.
Did the pandemic hit the popular meat industry?
Coronavirus spreads fast in a crowded location. The meat industry, which employs thousands of blue-collar workers, could act as the breeding ground for this virus. This is why many of these plants were closed down. It affected the livelihood of the workers, hitting the meat industry adversely.
The meat-loving countries such as the USA, Australia, China, Argentina were the first to bear the brunt of this decision. It created a huge gap in the demand and supply and consumers were deprived of food that was an inseparable part of their diet.
Supply chain disruption in agriculture is a serious issue. Food and water are basic necessities for the human population. And if they are deprived of these, it could lead to serious consequences in any country. There should be a proper strategy and planning for resolving this challenge.
Every unique challenge has a unique solution. The white-collar jobs shifted remotely; this was a unique solution in the current times. Likewise, the solution to resolve the food disruption is looking to sustainable agricultural production and supply.