A report by the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has noted that despite efforts by different actors such as governments and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) on the African continent to keep trade of essential goods and services uninterrupted during the containment measures of the coronavirus, the experiences have shown that food trade and other essential services were also affected.
The operations, functioning and efficiency of food markets, according to the report, have also severely suffered due to the Covid-19 pandemic and containment measures.
“Food trade, particularly logistics of moving food from the strategic surplus region and deficit areas were severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and containment measures,” the report stated.
It further indicated that the Covid-19 pandemic and resultant containment measures, which have restricted food distribution and trade activities, particularly in import-dependent countries, has demonstrated the need for countries to increase domestic food production and availability to ensure self-sufficiency.
On the back of this realization, countries have begun developing and implementing Covid-19 response plans that are focusing on increasing domestic food production and availability.
Also, to ensure that agricultural production and distribution activities continue uninterrupted, the past month has seen most countries turning to strategic grain reserves as critical instruments for ensuring food security, said the report.
Some governments are partnering with private sector companies to help restock the national grain reserves.
“These developments have demonstrated and reemphasized the importance of public-private partnerships in driving the agricultural development agenda on the continent.
“Further, most countries are beginning to open up their economies including some parts of the informal sector which has allowed low-income households who depend on the informal sector for their livelihoods to access much-needed incomes which were affected by the pandemic,” it said.
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana