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IRRI’s Response to COVID-19

After COVID-19: Where next for Climate Resilient Agricultural Development in the Global South?

Nafees Meah and Sheetal Sharma

Global food production is required to increase  between 50–70% by 2050 driven by population growth, income growth, and change in diets.  However, global warming is already having a profound effect on food production around the world and in the global south in particular. With warmer temperatures have come increased frequency of droughts and floods, crop production losses, and reduced availability of freshwater. Under the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), countries around the world have committed to a set of goals to end poverty, end hunger, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all by 2030. SDG13 on climate action calls for strengthened resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters. Agriculture, forestry and land use change accounts for nearly a quarter of the total greenhouse gas emissions. Under the Paris Agreement on climate change, many countries in the global south have included mitigation and/or adaptation actions in agriculture in their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to the global objective of keeping the rise in global temperature to well under 2 °C.

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Mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 on domestic rice value chains and food security in West Africa

by Aminou Arouna, Guillaume Soullier, Patricio Mendez del Villar and Matty Demont

According to this article published on Trade for Development News by the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), rice plays a strategic role in food security in West Africa, however, the region increasingly relies on imports, and local value chains face constraints in terms of technology, finance, and coordination. The article suggests a set of short- to long-term measures to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on rice value chains in West Africa ranging from addressing the obstacle of access to inputs to supporting the upgrading of value chains.

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COVID-19 and food security | Limiting the impact of the crisis on rice value chains in West Africa

Rice plays a strategic role in food security in West Africa, but the region increasingly relies on imports, and local value chains face constraints in terms of technology, finance and coordination. In an article published in Global Food Security, scientists from CIRAD, AfricaRice, and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) propose different policy options to reduce the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on rice value chains in West Africa. To increase the resilience of local value chains, policymakers need to focus on supporting millers, especially by facilitating their access to credit.

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IRRI answers UN’s call for more sustainable food systems

The COVID-19 pandemic is more than a health crisis. Over the last six months, we have witnessed its extreme socio-economic consequences, including grave threats to food security and nutrition. As the pandemic continues to take its toll and make an indelible mark on agri-food systems, organizations like the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), a member of CGIAR, are aligning their efforts to ensure a relevant, timely, and well-coordinated response to safeguard the health and livelihoods of the poorest and most vulnerable.

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Policy Brief: Safeguarding Food Systems in Southeast Asia Amid COVID-19

by Yurdi Yasmi, David Dawe, Jiangfeng Zhang, Jean Balie and Grahame Dixie

Since it was declared a pandemic by WHO on 11 March, COVID-19 has affected nearly 200 countries and territories around the globe. As of 14 June, the total reported cases of COVID-19 globally reached more than 7.6 million with over 420,000 deaths. In Southeast Asia, more than 115,000 people were COVID-19 positive and over 3,000 fatalities were reported. One characteristic of this pandemic is that it has moved from a local health issue to a multisector, economy-wide, global crisis. The impact of COVID-19 is felt everywhere but unevenly. Some segments of the society, particularly the poor, suffer more than the others.

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Policy Brief: Impact of COVID-19 on the Rice Value Chain (RVC) in Asia

Lockdowns, shutdowns and other protection measures induced by the COVID-19-pandemic have disrupted the upstream (input supply and production), midstream (processing, marketing, and logistics), and downstream (retail and consumption) segments of the rice value chain. This has affected the lives and livelihoods of over four billion people including millions of rice value chain actors in Asia. This policy brief 'Impact of COVID-19 on the Rice Value Chain in Asia', uses a conceptual framework, anecdotal evidences, and a multitude of pertinent information sources, to describe how COVID-19 is affecting the rice value chain and ultimately, food and nutrition security in Asia.

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COVID-19 opens unknown chapter on rural women’s plight in India’s migration saga

The Indian government has taken stringent measures to arrest the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). A complete lockdown of the vast country seems to have been a successful strategy. At the same time, the government has come under flack for not anticipating the consequences this lockdown has had for the large number of rural migrant workers, mostly men, who have been left stranded in cities throughout the country.

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COVID-19’s long shadow darkens the future of Southeast Asia’s food security

5 May 2020, Los Banos, Philippines/Bangkok, Thailand — As COVID-19 continues to threaten the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in Southeast Asia, additional concerns are being raised about the longer term health of the sub-region’s food systems – a complex matrix involving farmers, fishers, labourers, drivers, cold storage, food processors, retailers, and consumers.

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What the COVID-19 led Global Economic Recession could mean for Rice-Based Food Security in Asia

By Harold Glenn A. Valera, Jean Balié, and Valerien O. Pede

An economic slowdown is now on the horizon due to the COVID-19 crisis. A recent World Bank report tells us that an economic slowdown in 2020 is inevitable, as suggested by its revised lower global growth forecast. 

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Averting an agricultural crisis: Setting Food And Nutrition Systems right during Covid-19 times

by Nafees Meah, Prakashan Chellattan Veettil and  Basanta Kumar Kar (Recipient of Global Nutrition Leadership Award and a Transform Nutrition Champion)

The exponential spread of the COVID-19 virus has forced many countries in the developed and developing world to take unprecedented policy and regulatory measures, such as the temporary lockdown of the entire country in order to break the chain of transmission. These restrictions have imposed a complete or partial shutdown of their production, manufacturing, and service economies.

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Policy Brief: Creating Sustainable Value Chains For Transforming Food Systems

The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting food value chains across South Asia. It is now recognized that food systems are at the nexus of food security, nutritional health, ecosystems, climate change, and rural prosperity. With countries in South Asia closing down their economies almost overnight to fight this pandemic, the strains are showing in agriculture, farming communities, and entire food supply chains.

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Is COVID19 a threat to the stability of rice price and supply?

by Jean Balié and Harold G. Valera

As governments around the world are realizing the multiple connections between the COVID-19 health crisis and the global and local food systems, they are contemplating an array of policy decisions or already implementing preventive measures to protect food supply. In most cases, these measures are taken in autonomy and with little consideration for the global food systems and their interdependence.

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IRRI committed to working with partners, governments to ensure continued food and nutrition security amid COVID-19 outbreak

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across almost 200 countries and territories around the world, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) remains ready to help partners and governments keep rice production and distribution a key priority for people who depend on it for sustenance and livelihood.

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