Curbing Food Crisis Caused by COVID19
The coronavirus pandemic continues to take its toll on the African continent. While the continent as a whole still accounts for relatively few deaths from the disease, the numbers are rising, with more than 4,700 confirmed cases and 127 deaths.
As countries scramble to contain the virus and are affected by the efforts of other countries to do the same, the economic impacts grow.
As of late March 2020, the full impact of the virus on food security and agricultural food systems is not yet known, nor will likely be remembered for months to come as the spread of the virus continues to evolve differently by continent and by country.
What is clear is that it will have, and is already having, significant adverse effects on people along the food supply chain from producers to processors, marketers, transporters, and consumers in the country.
According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Africa’s GDP growth is expected to drop from 3.2% to 1.8%, which will likely increase the number of people without food.
Africa’s smallholders produce 80% of the food we eat. It, therefore, goes without saying that if they can’t farm because of COVID- 19, Africa will inevitably face a food crisis.
Therefore, the governments and key stakeholders have a role to play in ensuring production is not disrupted, and this can be through finding ways to get inputs to farmers at lower prices than usual to ensure that all farmers have access to the right inputs during this period.
The move by the Kenyan government stock up cereals and pulses for use will go a long way in the mitigation of the COVID-19 food security challenges. This will not only enable the citizens to evade hunger but also help to encourage the farmers in such a hard time.
All in all, whether working from your home, office, or out tending to your field, make sure to take measures that are critical to keeping you, your colleagues, family, and the world safe.