Actionables 2.0: Scuttlebutt on Farming/Migrant Labour/Economic Activity

Some updates from a friend in food belt from Punjab:
a) Almost all villages have blocked entry/exits.
b) Sarpanch are playing a big role.
c) Perishable agri commodities are suffering
d) Most agri activities are going as expected. The farmers are maintaining social distancing. Govt. is supporting procurement and other related activities. Fertilizer, seeds and Pesticide shops will be given permits to open on certain days (twice in a week) in a rotating manner.

Incase you live in rural areas or have contacts do add your own scuttlebutt/experience. My feedback is from Abohar in Punjab and other bordering districts of Rajasthan.


Thanks @Anant. Very helpful


At a cumulative level, these kind of scuttlebutts come in very handy
Request all to gather what you can and share back.

You can extend the same scuttlebutt spirit to friends/family/relatives in key Industries say Infra, Construction on one hand (negative outlook) and Pharma, API, Agrochem business (positive outlook).

Many of us are professionals holding down a job :slight_smile:
You re the best guy to talk to more folks/experienced seniors in your industry, allied industries and share important scuttlebutt back.

Let’s also be mindful of taking too much space/incremental learnings. If someone has already reported on your scuttlebutt area. Its good to add value quoting/replying to that post, only additional confirming or disconfirming data. Good to use specifics …like location, district, state rather than general comments,


Agree with a) and b) want to add some observations from our construction site labor who went to nearby villages chattisgarh(just 8 cases till now)

  1. People who have travelled from different districts to native place 120km only their houses have been stamped with quarantine posters
    2)Some boys who were roaming in the night in village of 1000-2000 pop have been stamped by police/sarpanch with voting ink seal on their forehead( Mai Samaj ka desman hn etc etc :wink:)
  2. T 3- T4 cities where dmart is not there small local supermarkets dont allow anyone inside but need to hang their list outside along with phone , their supplies will be packed and supermarkets are calling them to collect and pay. Local E commerce arrangement .
  3. Buildings/Hospitals(GOV) on the outskirt of city have been made quarantine centre which have min general footfalls.

Disclosure: All info is from chattisgarh state districts


Few points as I live in rural area:

  1. All the entries to village are blockade. Any new vehicle /person trying to enter are questioned by senior people/panchayat members. I have to find cross roads to take out my vehicle for essential service.
    2.Famers are finding it difficult to transport and sell their materials. I know some farmers who has worked overnight in their cauliflower/tomato fields and transported the vegetables before 5 AM .
    3.sericulture farmers got very good prices few weeks back. Now prices have come down making farmers unhappy and selling at whatever the price offered as they can’t postpone it.
    4.Poultry farmers( some of them are my near relatives) are going through very tough time. Due to significant drop in chicken prices and false perception of corona spread through chickens. Companies which were doing contract farming with them have stopped supplying material.
  2. Milk procurement is going on as usual as it’s through co operative society at village level and no change in procurement price till now.
    6.Farmers are involved in their regular day to day activities. They have facing problem in procurement of pesticides, fertilisers… Etc.
  3. I don’t see much of social distancing being followed (at least in my village).

Replace almost with only few( mere 1 -5%)villages, who have blocked entry/exits for time being.
Very few takers for milk as all doodhwalas/ tankers not operating so villagers are forced to use it at home.
Yes most agri activities are going normally but there is real worry of getting harvesting machines and of procurement by govt.
Also although it is still few months away, but farmers are getting worried about sowing of paddy due to migrants moving away to UP/Bihar.
As I have friends in nearly all belts of Punjab, what I can observe is although curfew is imposed in all Punjab but there are restriction and relaxations in view of number of positive cases in each district. In south west Punjab along with pak border there are far more relaxation with respect to people movement. It is in Jalandhar Nawanshahr ludhiana belt where we are talking about blocked entry/exits in villages. Hope it helps.


I just finished call with my relative who is big agri broker and works closely with APMCs in Gujarat

Some points on similar lines:

  • Migrant labour has gone back to villages and most of them started farming as they have small land parcels
  • They are in no mood to return back atleast until 2-3 months and waiting for things to completely settle
  • Though govt has given permit to start APMC, there is no agri commodity coming there as there is shortage of transport (to get from farmers to APMC)
  • Volumes down 90% despite the permit of opening up
  • This is harvesting season, if this continuous, there will be food shortage too

Again not an expert in this field, but was kind of Work From Home Scuttlebutt :slight_smile:


Hello ValuePickr Community,
This is my first post, thanks for the great learning from this Forum. It has helped me a lot to hold on to my investing dreams.
An update from Mangalore city (Dakshina Karnataka district) where I reside presently.

  1. Groceries were available once in 3 days with the timing fixed from 6am to 3 pm (introduced few days back), however seeing the rush around the grocery shop today the timing has been changed again from 7 am to 12 pm on a daily basis .Literally everything in the shops were grabbed today. The rate of fruits and vegetables has also increased.
  2. Dairy items are available (though there is a reduction in consumption).
  3. Poultry consumption has also reduced.
  4. Oil Refinery MRPL is running at around 50 % of capacity, as the demand for petrol and diesel have reduced.
  5. Social distancing is being maintained in good spirit. The lockdown is complete in most of the areas.

In the neighbouring state Kerala

  1. Groceries –are available, timing of the shops are limited which are opened on a daily basis .Being a consumer state there is shortage of vegetables and hence the rates have skyrocketed ,but the authorities are doing their best to arrest this . Government has given free rations to every family.
  2. Dairy items –Milma (Cooperative Milk society) which is the main milk Producer in the state has reduced the output production of milk.

The situation look worrisome in case if lockdown period gets extended.


Currently wheat harvest is getting very much affected due to lockdown no harvester are coming from rajasthan/punjab/haryana. All mandi are closed plus fertilizer and seed shops are not getting proper support from local government as permission from collector is necessary. Green vegetables prices will shoot in coming 1-2 months as sowing is disturbed now. March closing and advance payment of all seed/fertilizer/pesticide companies from local dealers for coming kharif season is very low.

PS: I have business related to agriculture.



This article published an hour ago echoes above point on harvest…

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Not much issue. Respective state government helping farmers for crop harvesting. However,fear among labour is the issue to get them on work!!


From a friend in Hyderabad: reproduced as received.

One positive aspect: One of my fellow Rotarians is the largest dealer of products of a major laptops and accessories company in south India. the company is laying a new strategy post Covid-19. They expect a major shift to a work from home culture across all types of companies including call centres, who have found that there is a jump in productivity at this time. They expect much much more sales of laptops, headsets, printers, docking stations and the works.

This will be great in India, where work from home is generally viewed with suspicion and sometimes with good reason, because people didn’t really work when at home earlier. Now there is no choice … and the productivity is soaring!!


I mailed the central authority for getting permission to run my factory and for supplying. See their response.


Does any one have data on fertilizer companies on how much do they import from China? There can be a shortage in mixed fertilizer around india

My experience
I don’t know about long-term but short term I see lot of changes and still cant imagine long-term affects of these short term changes.
I was supposed to get married this summer and my 5 other friends as well.We all postponed,Now everyone thinking of getting married somewhere around Nov-Dec if things get better by the time, we(Indians) spend in lakhs-Crs for these Occasions if we stopped spending for 5-6 months a lot of people will be out of jobs like photographers(were getting paid heftily) and so many other people.
Yesterday I was watching Kabir Khan interview he is thinking of postponing his movie to somewhere Aug-Sept here also a lot of people will get affected if big events don’t happen money wont circulate.

I’m not sure if the people who are in these professions be idle for this long and will do the same again or there will be some structural changes.

I see lot of demand will be on pause for next coming months.


At time of Demonetization/GST it was beleived Unorganised to Organised will yield tremendous results.But market failed to anticipate how resilient SME/MSME was .SME/MSME was fighting for life(Near life or death threat was there).

  1. Initially SME/MSME borrowed heavily from banks and post NPA mess they started borrowing from NBFC & now they have no other source

  2. Most of SME/MSME in Unorganised to Organised theme are highly leveraged or stressed.Due to weak economy,prolonged slowdown,pilling up of debtors and inventory eg…

  • Morbi based tiles,sanitary ware manufacturer

  • Yamunanager Based Plywood

  • Lot of domestic utensils/ electrical product/toys /decorative product importer facing trouble due to import duty ,China lock-down,increased sourcing prices

  • small automobile ancillary manufacturer ( they were prepared for revised demand post March 2020 and in anticipation piled up inventory,invested in new plant,machinery,recruited staff( lot of players around Pune,Nashik,Solapur will tell the story)

  • Small Ginning,Textile Mill across India are filled up with inventory ,Inventory and only inventory (Low cotton prices give them hope to do speculation and spend huge amount on procuring cotton in initial days before Corona outbreak ) They were hoping post harvest season demand for cotton will rise But corona dried up demand for cotton from China and Now lock down across world means lost season for them as most of export based textile mills are not getting any order and stopping there mill before seasonal shutdown

  • Lot of roofing solution companies mostly providing solutio to rural household

  • Small Cooler manufacturer (Nagpur,Kanpur,Ahmdabad),AC Manufacturer …I lived in Vidarbha whre average temperature remain above 40 degree from April to Mid June .This year 80 % of people not using AC,Cooler

  • Small beverage ,Ice-cream manufacturer due to fear of contamination

  1. Now this lock down, scarcity of labor due to migration, increased transport cost (Yes due to not giving benefit of low crude to Transport industry + scarcity of driver + Drivers reluctant to travel + Risk of insolvency at level of transporter ), Lower demand for prolonged time some of industry are seasonal and there demand spiked up during summer .Now whole season is lost and for small player it means near threat of bankruptcy

  2. It seems lot of industry will see existing leader taking up Poll Position like what Asian Paint,Pidilite, ,HDFC Bank,Bajaj Finance did in past


Google has released COVID-19 mobility reports which provides some insights as to how much of lockdown was effective. These reports will be updated, but I also understand they will be available for a limited period. Relatively speaking the lockdown has had more impact in India as compared to US/Northern Europe.


Today NCC President Finance in an interview on ET Now said it is most likely that migrant labour will return to construction sites only after monsoon, i.e. after around 6 months.

Link to interview is attached.


The ice cream industry in trouble due to lock down.
They are facing Twin challenges
First the demand slowdown during the peak season and, second, the financial burden over the lock down
Second As sales have come to a halt, stock inventories are piled up in cold storage . Having no sales, there is currently only financial outgo for the companies, which have obligations to pay wages, electricity bills, interest payments and other fixed expenses.

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