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Smallholder and agrifood SME resilience to shocks: Lessons from COVID-19 for the UN Food System Summit
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed both the vulnerability and the resilience of food supply chains. Supply chains from farm to retail have been disrupted, primarily by government-imposed lockdowns and other restrictions affecting labor supply, input provisioning, logistics, wholesale, retailing, and food service. Supply chains have also shown a good deal of resilience and innovative capacity to adapt to the major supply and demand shocks they encountered.
The current El Niño cycle is being called the one of the strongest on record, and it is already having serious impacts on local food production in many developing countries around the world. Production shortfalls, and subsequent food price hikes, will be particularly harmful for the world’s poorest consumers, who research shows spend 50-70 percent of their incomes on food. A new IFPRI brief examines some of these impacts and discusses policy options to improve countries’ resilience and food security in the face of weather- and climate-related shocks.
In the face of price spikes, climate change, and other stressors from the national to the global scale, the promotion of resilience has gained traction in the development community as a means of insuring that populations vulnerable to food and nutrition insecurity are equipped with the tools to survive and even thrive in our unpredictable world.
The 23rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union Heads of State and Government kicked off this week in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. The Summit's theme of "Transforming Africa’s Agriculture for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods through Harnessing Opportunities for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development” is particularly relevant this year, as 2014 also marks the 10-year anniversary of the adoption of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and the African Union's Year of Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Security.
Resilience must mean more than simply bouncing back from negative shocks: that is the message from last week's 2020 Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The conference, themed "Building Resilience for Food and Nutrition Security," provided a new definition of resilience, one that focuses on empowering individuals, households, and communities to become better off than they were before the shocks occurred.