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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.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Senegal declared a state of emergency on March 23, 2020, followed by a range of policy measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus: Transport was significantly restricted, wet markets were closed, and shops were required to limit their hours. These moves disrupted food supply chains, in particular those of highly perishable products such as fresh fruits and vegetables (FFV).
Policy-induced market distortions along agricultural value chains: Evidence from Ethiopia and Nigeria
This post originally appeared on IFPRI.org
The number of people around the world facing severe food insecurity skyrocketed by 20 million in 2020, according to the 2021 Global Report on Food Crises, released earlier this month. Acute food insecurity now affects at least 155 million people across 55 countries/territories, with some regions facing famine-level hunger.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented countries with enormous policy challenges. Policymakers have had to balance limited resources between health, food systems, and economies in a continually evolving public health emergency and an associated recession. Low-income countries have faced especially difficult choices because of their limited budgets and administrative capacity.