News By/Courtesy: Sneha Suresh | 27 Jul 2020 12:16pm IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Disruptions in the food chain
  • Farmers safe, but crops aren't
  • Government needs to take a stand, support the crippled

Food security in times of COVID-19 stress

The economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic are being and will continue to be felt countries and communities at the global level. Curbing and containing measures like social distancing, lockdown measures are in hopes to slow down the spread of the virus taken by countries that didn't essentially show the highest number of COVID-19 cases caused a massive slowdown in production and consumption. The lives and livelihood of millions of people especially those living in countries that are going through nothing short of a humanitarian crisis are and will continue to be cripplingly affected.

 The reality is the COVID-19 pandemic is that it has exposed the potential vulnerability of the world's food chain. This is inciting governments in emerging economies to boost domestic production through new agricultural inputs and investment in agri-tech and logistics networks.

 The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has cautioned that potentially 265 million people worldwide could face acute food insecurity by the end of the year which is double the figure before the pandemic struck. This is intense and cosmic spike is based on the number of factors which include lockdown measures have forced severe labor shortages in key agricultural areas, meaning numerous crops were simply left to rot in fields, unfortunately.

 This was compounded by disruptions to local and international supply chains i.e., the product never reached the market, suppliers, or export hubs and hence placed a further strain on supply chains. It triggered a domino effect that has a monumental impact at each step now.

As a result of these shortages, the prices of key staples have skyrocketed and the accessibility and affordability of these staples to the lower economic demographics went out the window. The demographics just couldn't afford the basic goods.

 These factors combined with the current and already existing challenges like the effect of climate change on agricultural yields, to create a very real food security challenge worldwide.

COVID-19 pandemic containment measures have led to disruptions in food production and distribution, health and humanitarian supply chains, as well as triggered slowdown of economic activities. It has had negative impacts on food systems, household incomes, and food security. Climate and environment shocks continue to threaten food supplies.

 Our current hope is the pandemic finally being curbed and the success of vaccines and also Governments stepping up with better policies to ensure accessibility of basic staples and also supporting the crippled agricultural workers that have been attacked by not only the pandemic but also the lockdowns and restrictions placed.

 This article does not intend to hurt the sentiments of any individual, community, sect, or religion etcetera. this article is based purely on the author's personal views and opinions in the exercise of the fundamental right guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) and other related laws being a force in India, for the time being.

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 27 Jul 2020 19:49pm IST


Tags : Food

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