The COVID-19 pandemic has raised the spectre of food insecurity as countries and citizens fear a return to the conditions that roiled the international food markets during the 2008 economic crisis.
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe' second city of some 700,000 people, has experienced a shortage of vegetables this year, with major producers citing a range of challenges from poor rains to the inability to access to bank loans to finance their operations. But this shortage has created a market gap that Zimbabwe smallholders — some 1.5 million people according to government figures — have an opportunity to fill.
As the COVID-19 mayhem carries on in most countries, the role of mothers, daughters, and female caregivers have been affected the most. Besides looking after the household and home schooling children, they are also working on the front lines, actively or passively caring for their respective communities.
It's eight o'clock in the morning and Pascuala Ninantay is carrying two large containers of water in her wheelbarrow to prepare with neighbouring women farmers 200 litres of organic fertiliser, which will then be distributed to fertilise their crops, in this town in the Andes highlands of Peru.
As the sun sets over the hills, Prafulla Debbarma, a small tea grower in Dhanbilash village in north eastern India, walks along the labyrinth path of his farm and past a thick blanket of well-grown tea plants. In the fading light, the farmer appears deeply worried. This tea farm, the sole source of his livelihood, remains unharvested thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequalities and revealed to what extent current economic models are not sustainable. It has also shown that most countries are not equipped to cope with a health crisis.
In Rwanda, Benimana Uwera Gilberthe, a scholar and pepper producer, experienced first-hand the challenges of breaking into agribusiness.
While in Nigeria, Ayoola Adewale is trying to understand if poultry egg farming will prove a profitable and viable business opportunity to the youth of the continent’s most populous nation. Also in Nigeria, Esther Alleluyanatha is understanding the link between young people leaving their villages for larger cities, the remittances they send home, and the implications on rural livelihoods and agriculture productivity.
Africa’s frailties have been brutally exposed by the coronavirus pandemic. The virus has reached nearly every country on this continent of 1.3 billion people and the World Health Organization warns there could be 10 million cases within six months. Ten countries have no ventilators at all.
Many uncertainties haunt the world’s campaign to counter the COVID-19 pandemic, but one thing is now sure: Global economic activity will suffer greatly, with large-scale consequences for the incomes and welfare of all, but especially for the most vulnerable food import-dependent countries.
Nobukhosi Cebekhulu (68) and Khetsiwe Tofile (64) are small-scale vegetable farmers who are producing from their permaculture home gardens in Malkerns, Eswatini.
Heartbreaking images of Indian farmers standing amidst swathes of rotting vegetables, fruits and grain have been flooding newspapers and TV screens lately. Crashing prices and transport bottlenecks due to the 40-day coronavirus lockdown in India, on till May 3, have driven some to set their unsold produce ablaze.
The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), described as an integral part of its highly-ambitious development agenda, may be in deep trouble.
The implications and consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic are playing out before us. Much of the news coverage of the to date in both the Global North and the Global South has understandably focused on the horrifying impact of the disease on urban communities
, where it is clearly hitting people, and economies, hardest.
With much of the global economy stalled amid an unprecedented lockdown of nations grappling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, the author of a new United Nations report on the disease’s impact on poverty told IPS that hundreds of millions more could be pushed into poverty and we can expect to see social unrest.
As the high season for agricultural labour in the United States approaches, tens of thousands of migrant workers from Mexico are getting ready to head to the fields in their northern neighbour to carry out the work that ensures that food makes it to people's tables.
COVID-19 has disrupted supply chains that are essential to assure food security in the Asia Pacific region, yet countries overall seem to have managed, so far, to keep supermarkets stocked with food and feed those who can afford it.
The Asia Pacific region is home to over 60% of humanity and also contains sub-regions with among the highest frequencies of severe weather events and some of the most challenging environments for agriculture. As a region it is characterized by diverse food systems and a multiplex of supply chains. Under normal circumstances, food security is already threatened by a multitude of factors.
For millions of children around the world, the COVID-19 outbreak means not getting the most important, if not the only, meal of the day.
On March 12, the first email came in. An email from a boutique hotel that said they needed to postpone their apron order. The hotel had decided to put a hold on all non-essential spending until everything was, according to them, back to normal.
No. 39, Spring 2020, Agriculture for Development: open edition
14th Hugh Bunting Memorial Lecture: Smarter foods | Agricultural hazard management in Bangladesh |IPPC special report Climate change and land: extended review | Getting more, much more, from tropical agriculture | Sir George Stapledon | Agriculture and rural roads | TAA 2019 AGM report | TAA 2019 Honours |Moving coastlines: farming the mudflats of Bangladesh | Digital farming and tropical agriculture.
In 2006, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation jointly launched the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). The African Green Revolution Forum claims AGRA is the “world’s most important and impactful forum for African agriculture”.
Together with medical services and transportation, farming and food production have been correctly identified as ‘essential services’ by all countries under lockdown. The Covid-19 pandemic has not yet made a dent in the food supply and so far, there are no reports of shortage of essential food and agricultural goods. All cities and towns are actively coordinating with government agencies, farms, businesses and transport companies to maintain the supply chain and ensure full availability of food for the population,