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Our window of opportunity for achieving SDG 2 — eradicating hunger and malnutrition and ensuring access to safe, nutritious, and sufficient food for all by 2030 — is closing rapidly. However, far from moving closer to that goal, the world has seen a resurgence of hunger and food insecurity.
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.
Several African countries are currently experiencing acute or worsening food insecurity, according to FEWS Net.
Every year, people in Sub-Saharan Africa consume 34 million tons of milled rice, of which 43 percent is imported. But the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly hampered supply chains, making it difficult for imported rice to reach the continent. Indeed, if immediate action is not taken, the supply shortfall will further strain the region’s food systems which are already impacted by the pandemic.
Most of Malawi’s 4 million households still rely primarily on rainfed crop production with limited use of agricultural inputs for their food needs. But subsistence farming is failing to meet the dietary requirements of all Malawians: In recent years, several hundred thousand households annually have faced acute food insecurity. Insufficient harvests have resulted from either too little or too much rainfall and from limited use of inputs, while landholdings shrink as the population grows. Yet the country’s policy approach to food security continues to center on subsistence production.