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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.