Food security has been a significant concern for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), even before the onslaught of challenges brought about by COVID-19. As the pandemic started spreading to the region, one concern has been that of its possible impacts on food security, as the crisis has the potential to exacerbate an already fragile food security environment.
This blog was originally posted on IFPRI.org. It was written by Swati Malhotra and Rob Vos from IFPRI’s Markets, Trade, and Institutions Division.
Agricultural mechanization can help reduce farmers’ labor costs and increase agricultural productivity; however, in many parts of Africa south of the Sahara, most farm activities still rely on human and animal power ( IFPRI Insights , September 2014 ). Increasing Africa’s agricultural mechanization could be a key driver of future development in the region, but only if it is done properly and sustainably.
Food and nutrition security (FNS) is a multi-dimensional concept, spanning the agriculture, trade, health, and social sectors. Often, however, policies only address FNS through one lens: that of food production. This could be due to the fact that many FNS stakeholders have a background in agriculture and thus tend to focus on sectoral agricultural issues, says a new report from the FoodSecure project .
The impacts of climate change on agriculture can differ widely depending on a variety of factors, including the region of production, crop variety, and availability and use of inputs like fertilizers and irrigation. Gender can also play a large role in how individuals both experience and respond to climate change. Since gender norms often at least partially establish individuals’ social status, rights, and responsibilities, it is likely that men and women face different constraints and opportunities and will make different decisions when it comes to adapting to climate change.