Simadri Rajasri and Kausik Pradhan
Uttar banga Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Pundibari, Cooch Behar, West Bengal, 736165
In the changed socio-situational scenario, the smallholders are suffering from different uncertainties associated with their livelihood. The uncertainties are mainly related to the depletion of bio-diversities, inadequate market structures, climate change, etc. The recent pandemic due to the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 also contributes to the uncertainties for smallholders by increasing manifolds. Under such a situation the present research study is conducted to analyze and interpret the perception of the smallholders related to the discourses created by COVID-19 in agriculture and coping strategies are identified. The study was conducted in the Sub-Himalayan region of India. The multistage and random sampling procedures were adopted to collect hundred numbers of respondents. The data were collected with the help of a structured interview schedule. The inferential statistical analyses were used to get a holistic conclusion. The result shows that the smallholders suffered a lot during the pandemic situation due to improper marketing structure and the unstable value chain of agricultural produce. The astounding fact is that the smallholders are faced the uncertainties related to accessing and communicating with the extension service providers but still they did not face food insecurity in the locality. The alternative policies of the government related to securing food and livelihood support to smallholders for restoring their livelihood. The coping strategies identified as the suggestive measures through this study are government support for online marketing during pandemic, production advisory services online, and resurrection of livelihood by providing critical input related to minimum bare livelihood maintenance. The study also suggests limited policy implications on the basis of the coping strategies for the pandemic situation to resurrect the livelihood status of the smallholders.