Building Resilience in Food Systems and Agricultural Value Chains: Agricultural Policy Responses to COVID-19 in Africa
The unexpected exogenous shocks inflicted by theCOVID-19 pandemic on the global economy have resulted in precipitated varying global, regional, and national policy responses. To contain the spread of the virus and mitigate its widespread impacts, countries have responded by adopting unprecedented policy measures reflecting a mixture of scientific advice and political considerations. The precise mixtures of which appear to reflect deep-seated cultural preferences and tolerance for individuality and perceptions of personal rights versus collective responsibility. Other contextual factors include national capacities, capabilities and reach as well as environmental circumstances. The adopted policy measures are largely two-pronged. The first set of policies – the ‘short term’ – focuses on an immediate response aimed strategies to flatten the infection curve through therapeutic and non-therapeutic prevention and containment measures – notably personal hygiene, social distancing, face masking, border closures. The consequences of which are reflected in lockdown, leading to dramatic reduction in economic activity for some countries to various degrees. The second set of policies takes the form of eased monetary and fiscal adjustments policies as well as social safety nets targeted at helping citizens, businesses and public institutions to cope with reduction in economic exchanges. Additionally, some countries have implemented export restrictions of staples to conserve their own food stocks while others have also taken anticipatory measures like export restriction.