Despite the health condition, the global pandemic COVID-19 resulted in various negative impacts such as threats to the sustainability of agricultural and food systems on a global scale. It is therefore necessary to analyse and comprehend the immediate consequences of current pandemic on agricultural and food systems in order to develop necessary actions. This study was carried out to assess the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on agricultural and food systems in Badulla district, Sri Lanka where the study was conducted in four Agriculture Instructor (AI) regions namely Badulla, Bandarawela, Welimada and Mahiyangana, from September 2020 to March 2021. AI regions were selected using cluster sampling technique and data were collected from randomly selected 209 farmers by administering a structured questionnaire. Data were analysed using quantitative techniques and text analysis. Results revealed that the key issue faced by the farmers was marketing and distribution. Other main problems were associated with labor, quality raw-material, finance, prices of the raw-material and quality degradation at postharvest stage including storage. Importantly, farmers have received enough farming consultancy during the pandemic. The majority of the farmers had not attempted any innovative approach to mitigate these issues but some farmers had adopted temporary solutions. In conclusion, innovative approaches in making farmers more engaged in risk management similar to COVID-19 pandemic are needed in future.

Cite as

Rathnayaka, S., Amarakoon, A., Wijesinghe, W. & Herath, H. 2023, 'Assessing the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on agricultural and food systems in Badulla District, Sri Lanka', AGRIEAST: Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 17, pp. 14-24. https://doi.org/10.4038/agrieast.v17i1.118

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Last updated: 06 October 2023
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