According to International Potato Center Asia Regional Director Samarendu Mohanty, the two crops would be most heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis if lockdowns and restrictions were not lifted soon.
“The biggest impact that COVID-19 is having on the world’s agricultural system is that of manpower displacement, especially for migrant workers. The supply chain in Asia is not as mechanized as that in the West, and we are very dependent on manpower for planting, harvesting, food movement and so on,” he told FoodNavigator-Asia.
“Rice is the biggest crop in Asia, and we are very near the normal planting season of end-April to May. The planting season is the time where the most manpower is required, and the lockdowns are causing a huge damper on the labour available.”