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Pandemic likely to lead to a global shortage of protein-rich foods with African and Asia hardest hit

A global shortage of protein-rich foods is expected this year due to COVID-19 and other factors, says a new report by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). The anticipated reduced availability of protein products is expected to result in decreased consumption worldwide, particularly among the poor, which could exacerbate health problems among children. Many foods are being...

Africa is facing a food crisis due to covid-19. These seeds could help prevent it

Seed demand is expected to outstrip supply by nearly twice in the coming seasons, based on expert opinions from seven African countries compiled by the AVISA research project. Sub-Saharan Africa is facing one of its biggest farming crises in living memory. COVID-19 is dealing a blow to farmers already struggling with floods, drought, pests and diseases....

Regulatory Flexibilities Bridge Gaps Between Seed Systems

This post is written by Katrin Kuhlman and Bhramar Dey. Seed laws, regulations, and policies play a central role in food security and farmers’ access to quality seed of a range of crops. They define the institutional framework of the seed sector and enforcement of the rules, and they impact who produces, markets, and sells seeds...

Does the smallholder farmer have access to quality inputs?

With the onset of kharif (monsoon) in the southern states of India, the majority of farmers have started procurement of inputs such as seeds, fertilizers and pesticides. Amidst COVID-19 induced disruptions in input production and distribution, the state governments are making efforts to ensure timely distribution of inputs to farmers. Based on recent field survey in...

COVID-19 recovery is a chance to improve the African food system

The World Food Programme has warned that the COVID-19 pandemic could cause one of the worst food crises since World War II. It predicts a doubling of the number of people going hungry – more than half of them in sub-Saharan Africa. While wealthier people stay inside and practise physical distancing, the economically marginalised populations risk going out in search of...

A strategic guide: working towards food security in the drylands, through covid-19 and beyond

ICRISAT is well positioned to significantly contribute to efforts towards restoring food security in the drylands, while combating the COVID-19 pandemic-related impacts and beyond. Here is a quick guide outlining ways in which we can collaborate with our partners and influence positive outcomes for smallholder farmers. Background The COVID-19 pandemic has caused phenomenal disruptions in...

Lessons from a pandemic to repurpose india’s agricultural policy

As the coronavirus crisis triggers a large-scale exodus of migrant agricultural workers from India’s food basket, it’s time the country diversified beyond labor- and water-intensive crops, say Dr Arabinda K Padhee and Prof Prabhu Pingali. Television footages of hundreds of migrant laborers walking for thousands of kilometres amidst India’s country-wide lockdown shook the collective conscience of a...

Cowpea: A Tolerant, Unfailing Friend

Friends are hard to come by in times of war and when you’re hungry even a single morsel of food can be your best friend. During the 1860s, in the United States, the Civil War put food security to the test. Starvation was threatening but there was one crop which helped save the people of...

Gender Implications for EAS during COVID-19

The social impacts of COVID-19 have important implications to food security and, like many other social and environmental calamities, are not gender or spatially neutral. In many regions across the world, deep-rooted gender norms that devalue women’s unpaid domestic labor burdens also marginalize the health, nutrition, and decision-making power of women and girls. In 2017, FAO reported that women account for nearly...

Stronger local food value chains can leave eastern and southern Africa more resilient post covid-19

COVID-19 has seized the drylands of Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA), home to some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Mitigation efforts by governments in the region are starting to have significant adverse impacts on local food value chains. Lockdowns are in place in Zimbabwe, Uganda and partially in Kenya. In Zimbabwe, where civil society...

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