The Economic Impact of Pandemic on Farmers’ Sector at Maguindanao Province
12 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2022
Date Written: June 6, 2021
The global COVID-19 pandemic leads to the fatal economic condition of Asian countries and brings miserable situations to the rural farmers. According to Awad and Konn (2020), this pandemic greatly hits the developing countries and creates an economic slowdown in industry and agricultural sectors. It could be seen in the native place of Maguindanao province where most farmers faced challenges with their farming activities amidst pandemic. Some of these are the loss of marketable disposal of their harvest due to travel retsrictions, low price of output, lacking of laborers, and etc. Despite massive program against corona virus disease, public sectors could not figure out those impacts associated with high rate of poverty observed within marginalized farmers and to women. Thus, farmer-producers consistently confront risks along with losing yield and income. This study determines the economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the farmers' sectors at Maguindanao Province. particularly focuses on challenges and factors affecting farmers' profitability with their farming business.
A survey was done to greatly understand the economic condition of small farmers’ food sector on their farming operations during the COVID outbreak. The survey was done through the participation of 105 farmers randomly selected in seven barangays of Datu Odin Sinsuat Municipality. Moreover, descriptive- qualitative research was employed to determine variables that directly influence farmers’ income. Likert scale was also used to determine the significant effects of those challenges encountered by rural farmers.
The study reveals that of all thirteen (13) challenges and risks identified, low yield or harvest was the highest factor neither felt nor unfelt by the farmers (ẋ=3.12), followed by dropping farm gate price(ẋ=3.11), limited funds for buying primary needs(ẋ=3.09), limited access to credit, and low revenue or sales(ẋ=3.06). The least unfelt factor was when they consider discontinuing farming operations (ẋ=2.09) due to the pandemic situation. Moreover, the top three (3) coping mechanisms and strategies employed by farmers to recover from production losses were self labored and personalized farming activity (46.7%), followed by access to other types of jobs (41%), and lastly, lessen capital requirement (37.1%) and integrate farming with other commodities, such as vegetables, poultry and livestock (37.1%). The least choice was transferring to another location (6.7%). As to their concerned issues, respondents implied that failure or loss of income was their main concern during the pandemic (77.1%), they were afraid of acquiring low yield which affects their cash operations in their farming business. If they have a low yield, then it reflects that they have limited or no sufficient funds to purchase even basic needs (76.2%). And this resulted in poor family conditions (52.4%), which belong to the top three (3) concerns of the farmers. With the results observed, further elaborate that all challenges, risks, and concerns were directly associated with one scenario. Although on the part of the farmers, they merely recognized that it has domino effects, with the sequence and listed results shown in the study. Its offshoot realizes great impact and was still felt by small farmers during pandemic outbreak.
Economic disruptions were indirectly felt by the small farmers' sector, hence promoting and strengthening policies must be the primary concern to safeguard farmers' welfare and raise them from their wretched condition. Proper delegation and immediate action of different stakeholders must be planned, prepared, and properly hand over to help these families recover and become productive with their farming operation. Further, this study also helps policymakers identify desirable and effective measures for the farmers' fast resiliency.
Keywords: Economic impact, pandemic, farmers’ sector, rural farmers, resiliency
JEL Classification: Q10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation