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      Regional impact of COVID-19 on the production and food security of common bean smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa: Implication for SDG's


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          Concerns about the implications of COVID-19 on agriculture and food security in Sub-Saharan Africa abound. Containment measures in response to the pandemic have markedly different outcomes depending on the degree of enforcement of the measures and the existing vulnerabilities pre-COVID. In this descriptive study, we document the possible impacts of the pandemic on bean production and food security using data collected from March to April 2020 in eleven countries in four sub-regions in Sub-Saharan Africa. The results reveal that COVID-19 created significant bean production challenges across the sub-regions, including low access to seed, farm inputs, hired labor, and agricultural finance. We also show that COVID-19 threatens to reverse gains made in the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals number 1 and 2. Countries in Southern and Eastern Africa are likely to suffer temporal food shortages than those in Western and Central Africa. Although governments have responded by offering economic stimulus packages, much needs to be done to enable the sub-sector to recover from ruins caused by the pandemic. We recommend building sustainable and resilient food systems through strengthening and enabling public-private partnerships. Governments should invest directly in input supply systems and short food supply chains through digital access and food delivery.


          • COVID-19 threatens to reverse gains made in the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.

          • We can only achieve sustainable and resilient food systems through strengthening and enabling public-private partnerships.

          • The pandemic has necessitated a much needed holistic discussion around the complex food systems.

          • The pandemic’s effect on food consumption patterns triggered changes food quality and quantity negatively.

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          Most cited references40

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          Conceptualizing food systems for global environmental change research

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            Conceptualising COVID-19’s impacts on household food security

            COVID-19 undermines food security both directly, by disrupting food systems, and indirectly, through the impacts of lockdowns on household incomes and physical access to food. COVID-19 and responses to the pandemic could undermine food production, processing and marketing, but the most concerning impacts are on the demand-side – economic and physical access to food. This paper identifies three complementary frameworks that can contribute to understanding these effects, which are expected to persist into the post-pandemic phase, after lockdowns are lifted. FAO’s ‘four pillars’– availability, access, stability and utilisation – and the ‘food systems’ approach both provide holistic frameworks for analysing food security. Sen’s ‘entitlement’ approach is useful for disaggregating demand-side effects on household production-, labour-, trade- and transfer-based entitlements to food. Drawing on the strengths of each of these frameworks can enhance the understanding of the pandemic’s impacts on food security, while also pinpointing areas for governments and other actors to intervene in the food system, to protect the food security of households left vulnerable by COVID-19 and public responses.
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              Losses, inefficiencies and waste in the global food system

              Losses at every stage in the food system influence the extent to which nutritional requirements of a growing global population can be sustainably met. Inefficiencies and losses in agricultural production and consumer behaviour all play a role. This paper aims to understand better the magnitude of different losses and to provide insights into how these influence overall food system efficiency. We take a systems view from primary production of agricultural biomass through to human food requirements and consumption. Quantities and losses over ten stages are calculated and compared in terms of dry mass, wet mass, protein and energy. The comparison reveals significant differences between these measurements, and the potential for wet mass figures used in previous studies to be misleading. The results suggest that due to cumulative losses, the proportion of global agricultural dry biomass consumed as food is just 6% (9.0% for energy and 7.6% for protein), and 24.8% of harvest biomass (31.9% for energy and 27.8% for protein). The highest rates of loss are associated with livestock production, although the largest absolute losses of biomass occur prior to harvest. Losses of harvested crops were also found to be substantial, with 44.0% of crop dry matter (36.9% of energy and 50.1% of protein) lost prior to human consumption. If human over-consumption, defined as food consumption in excess of nutritional requirements, is included as an additional inefficiency, 48.4% of harvested crops were found to be lost (53.2% of energy and 42.3% of protein). Over-eating was found to be at least as large a contributor to food system losses as consumer food waste. The findings suggest that influencing consumer behaviour, e.g. to eat less animal products, or to reduce per capita consumption closer to nutrient requirements, offer substantial potential to improve food security for the rising global population in a sustainable manner.

                Author and article information

                Glob Food Sec
                Glob Food Sec
                Global Food Security
                1 June 2021
                June 2021
                : 29
                : 100524
                [a ]International Center for Tropical Agriculture, Nairobi, Kenya
                [b ]Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, Nairobi, Kenya
                Author notes
                []Corresponding author. CIAT Regional Office for Africa, Duduville Campus, off Kasarani Road, 823-00621, Nairobi, Kenya. e.nchanji@ 123456cgiar.org
                S2211-9124(21)00034-1 100524
                © 2021 The Authors

                This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                : 8 January 2021
                : 16 February 2021
                : 22 February 2021

                covid 19,food security,agricultural production,sub-saharan africa,sdg's


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