The effect of Covid-19 and Movement Control Order on agriculture in Malaysia

The novel Coronavirus or Covid-19 has been spreading across the nation in increasing rates daily. This virus has forced Malaysia to go under Movement Control Order since 18th March 2020. The Movement Control Order is a very crucial step taken by the government to avoid the spreading of the virus in Malaysia. Due to this, there are many effects on the economy, personal income and environment resulting from agricultural activities. Some of the effects are discussed below.One of the drawbacks of the Movement Control Order (MCO) is that most of the local and global trade markets are kept on hold. Locally, many farmers are facing a drop in income as their sales do not reach the targets. Small scale farmers are losing their income as there is not much demand for fruits at this point. Most consumers prefer to stock up food such as rice, bread and canned food during the MCO while fruits are often neglected. On a global scale, large scale farmers and traders of fruits are also experiencing loss as the import-export activities have been closed down due to the MCO.Next, many farmers are losing their optimum yield as they are unable to get their fertilizer on time for fertilizing the crops. MCO has urged the shops to be closed as a preventive method to avoid the further spreading of Covid-19 in Malaysia. Therefore, missing the fertilizing period, can cause a drop in yield for the farmers.

On the other hand, there are also some pros from the MCO as observed by the community. Due to the limited movement time and flexibility to buy daily essentials, many consumers tend to stock up on food. As for Malaysia, the most consumed food is rice and grains. Therefore, the demand for these food sources has increased due to panic buying.Other than that, since fertilizing and aerating new land for farms during the MCO period is impossible, the impact can be seen in the environment. There is less water pollution in the lakes surrounding the plantations. Also, since transportation is banned for transporting the produce to markets or other places, there is also a drop in air pollution during this moment.Lastly, although MCO may cause difficulties for some parties, we should understand that it is crucial to follow the rules of MCO by staying home and avoiding public places to curb the further spread of the virus. The economy can slowly be recovered later on, but lost lives cannot be brought back. Therefore, stay home and save lives.