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COVID19 Pandemic: Impact on Food Supply and Agriculture

Peter Musila 4 months ago
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The food supply chain is a complex web that involves producers, agricultural inputs, transportation, processing plants, shipping, etc.

Address the existing and potential impacts on the food sector, from the perspective of both food supply and food demandis essential.

As the virus spreads and cases mount, and measures tighten to curb the spread of the virus, significant elements of both food supply and demand have been profoundly affected.

Supply has been disrupted due to the disease’s impact on people’s lives and well-being, but also the containment efforts that restrict mobility and the higher costs of doing business due to limited supply chains and a tightening of credit. Labor is limited to the fears of infections from the unknown. 

Limited labor is affecting the agriculture industry, therefore, demand is bound to fall due to higher uncertainty, increased precautionary behavior, containment efforts, and rising financial costs that reduce people’s ability to spend.

As currently being experienced, the border closures, quarantines, market, supply chain, and trade disruptions is restricting people access to sufficient/diverse and nutritious food sources in Africa.

Sidameika Tura village market, Arsi Negele, Ethiopia. Photographer: CIMMYT/ Peter Lowe.

We face a looming food crisis, unless measures are taken fast to protect the most vulnerable, keep regional food supply chains alive and mitigate the pandemic’s impacts across the food system.

There is a dire need to think of the farmers, who, despite playing an important role in national economies, providing a link with the global structures of agricultural production and trade, and feeding the world, many farmers and their families suffer from poverty and food insecurity, they still cannot access or afford the protective gears required.

Therefore, as seek to address the challenges presented by covid19 on the agriculture sector and food supply, addressing the multiple challenges faced by farmers during this period and improving the functioning of the industry will be critical to address crises effectively present and future.

How can the impact of the crisis be moderated? Lets discuss through our social handles.

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