The Effects of COVID-19 on Food Equity and Nutrition Security in sub-Saharan Africa: Lessons from a Multi-Phase AssessmentMay 4, 2022 / COVID Country Report Publications
Written by: Leah Salm, Nick Nisbett and Alexandra Lulache
The COVID-19 pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa has elicited reactions that are also seen worldwide: widespread and indefinite health effects, and deep reverberations on almost all parts of daily life, from livelihoods, to freedom of movement and the availability of foods and services. As was seen in previous health crises such as that of HIV or Ebola, the effects of the pandemic are mediated by pre-existing power structures, vulnerabilities, and systems of support, which lead to differentiated outcomes for people and communities, often to the detriment of the poorest groups. This study examines the impact of COVID-19 on commercialising farmers across sub-Saharan Africa, with a deeper focus on Nigeria and Malawi, from a food equity perspective.
A Multi-Phase Assessment of the Effects of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa – Synthesis Report 3May 4, 2022 / COVID Country Report Publications
Written by: Amrita Saha, Marco Carreras and John Thompson
Since it began in early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic led to considerable concerns about the viability of local food systems and rural livelihoods across sub-Saharan Africa. This paper presents the results of a three-round assessment of the effects of COVID-19 on the farming, labour and marketing practices, food and nutrition security, and well-being of over 800 male- and female-headed rural households in eight countries – Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In this paper, we argue that when we closely examine the lived experiences of people in different country contexts, results suggest that the immediate restrictions and strict control measures imposed by governments at the start of the pandemic on social and commercial activities acted as a major shock to the well-being of many rural households and communities. Furthermore, while some households and communities were able to find ways to cope or adapt to the COVID-19-related disruptions, for others the pandemic coincided with a number of other shocks and stresses (extreme weather events, locust infestations, conflict and insecurity, or a combination of these), exacerbating some of the observed risks.
Written by: Chrispin Matenga and Munguzwe Hichaambwa
COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020. The speed with which the pandemic spread geographically, and the high rate of mortality of its victims prompted many countries around the world to institute ‘lockdowns’ of various sorts to contain it. While the global concern in the early months following the emergence of COVID-19 was with health impacts, the ‘lockdown’ measures put in place by governments triggered global socioeconomic shocks as economies entered recessions due to disruption of economic activity that the ‘lockdown’ measures entailed. Data suggests that the socioeconomic shocks arising from ‘lockdowns’ have been more severe in sub-Saharan Africa countries, generating dire livelihood consequences for most citizens who depend on the informal economy for survival. In Zambia, the effects of COVID-19 combined with a severe drought, and a decline in mining activity to contribute to a downward spiral in Zambia’s economy. This report aims to gain real-time insights into how the COVID-19 crisis was unfolding in Zambia and how rural people and food and livelihood systems were responding. The study focused on documenting and understanding the differential impacts of the pandemic at the household level in terms of changes in participation in farming activities, availability of services for agricultural production, labour and employment, marketing and transport services, food and nutrition security and poverty and wellbeing.
A Multi-Phase Assessment of the Effects of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in TanzaniaDecember 20, 2021 / COVID Country Report Impact Assessment Publications
Written by: Gideon Boniface and Christopher Magomba
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 at the end of 2019, the pandemic has brought both social and economic impacts to global communities, although to varying degrees. Since the onset of the pandemic, different regions have responded in various ways by taking different measures to fight the pandemic and its effects. In Tanzania, the first case was recorded on 16 March 2020 and, to contain the spread of the virus, on 17 March 2020, the Prime Minister announced measures including the closure of all education institutions, the suspension of public gatherings and international passenger flights, and mandatory quarantine for individuals entering Tanzania. However, in June 2020, the government announced the easing of the restrictions after observing a significant decrease in the COVID-19 infection rate and, despite a subsequent ‘second wave’ of the virus, the government declined to re-institute movement restrictions. This decision led to the implementation of non-tariff trade barriers which were imposed on cargo carrying grain and other exports to neighbouring countries, especially Kenya. The situation became so bad that diplomatic intervention had to be sought. In order to understand the resulting socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis in Tanzania, data were collected in three waves during mid-July2020, October 2020 and February 2021. This paper presents a synthesis of the results of these three survey rounds.
A Multi-Phase Assessment of the Effects of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in NigeriaDecember 13, 2021 / COVID Country Report Impact Assessment Publications
Written by: Adebayo Aromolaran, Milu Muyanga, Fadlullah O. Issa and Oladele Oladeji
The first case of COVID-19 in Nigeria was reported on 27 February 2020. By 30 March 2020, Nigeria had recorded 131 confirmed cases and two deaths. To mitigate the impending health crisis, the Nigerian Government quickly commenced a series of COVID-19 lockdowns across states in Nigeria on 30 March 2020. These lockdowns lasted for three months before a gradual relaxation began on 1 July 2021. However, infection and death cases in the country increased substantially during the months of substantial relaxation of restrictions between October 2020 and March 2021. This paper presents the results of the rapid assessment study in Nigeria between July 2020 and February 2021, which sought to document and understand the differential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on agricultural commercialisation, food and nutrition security, employment, poverty, and well-being in rural households.
Written by: Louis Hodey and Fred Dzanku
The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted food systems in Ghana since its emergence in the country in March 2020. According to the United Nations World Food Programme, the socio-economic impact of the pandemic caused by the imposition of restrictions on social and commercial activities appears to be more devastating than the actual virus in many countries. This study is part of the Agricultural Policy Research in Africa programme’s assessment of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on food systems and livelihoods in Ghana and seven other African countries – Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Conducted between June–July 2020 and February–March 2021, the study seeks to estimate the potential impact of COVID-19 on food systems and livelihoods in south-western Ghana.
Written by: John Olwande, Milton Ayieko, John Mukundi and Nicholas Odhiambo
Kenya confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on 12 March 2020. Like many governments across the world, the Kenyan government implemented various measures aimed at slowing down local spread of the virus and cushioning the population against the negative economic effects of the pandemic and the associated policy restrictions. International organisations and researchers postulated that the measures would negatively affect economic activities and livelihoods, with undesirable implications for poverty and food insecurity. Particularly vulnerable would be populations in developing countries such as Kenya, where many people depend on food systems for their livelihoods, and the majority of those are smallholder farmers who often have low economic power. The objective of this rapid assessment was to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on the food system and the sub-set of the population largely dependent on agriculture in Kenya to inform actions that can assure protection of rural livelihoods and continued access to adequate and affordable food of acceptable quality to the population. This report presents results of that rapid assessment.
Written by: Mirriam Matita and Masautso Chimombo
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruptions to national and global economies with devastating effects on food systems and livelihoods across the globe. These effects of the pandemic on poverty, hunger, and malnutrition, among others, are likely to be greater among low and middle-income countries like those in sub- Saharan Africa, including Malawi. This is because even before the COVID-19 pandemic began the proportion of people facing poverty, and food and nutrition insecurity were already high. It is, therefore, imperative to understand the effects of COVID-19 on food systems and rural livelihoods. Using a multi-stage ‘rapid assessment’, this study provides real-time insights into how the COVID-19 crisis unfolded in Malawi and how rural people and food and livelihood systems respond.
A Multi-Phase Assessment of the Effects of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Ethiopia: The Case of Fogera PlainNovember 15, 2021 / COVID Country Report Impact Assessment Publications
Written by: Dawit Alemu and Abebaw Assaye
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only led to the loss of human life and resulted in an unprecedented challenge to public health, but has also seriously affected food systems and work opportunities. As a global pandemic, COVID-19 has impacted food systems and livelihoods as a result of both economic and health challenges that emanate from domestic public policy measures, and also actions taken by other countries, mainly in the form of trade restrictions. Following the confirmation of the first COVID-19 case in Ethiopia on 13 March 2020, and concerns about the sharp increase in cases, the federal government declared a state of emergency on 8 April 2020 which lasted for five months. This paper presents the assessment of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and its prevention measures on agricultural commercialisation, food and nutrition security, labour and employment, as well as poverty and well-being in rural Ethiopia.
A Multi-Phase Assessment of the Effects of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in ZimbabweNovember 9, 2021 / COVID Country Report Impact Assessment Publications
Written by: Vine Mutyasira
The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to affect agri-food systems around the world and lay bare its fragility, worsening the welfare of millions of smallholder farmers whose livelihoods are anchored on agricultural activities. For the vast majority of sub-Saharan Africa, COVID-19 has coincided with a number of other macroeconomic shocks, which have also exacerbated the impacts of the pandemic on food security, nutrition and general livelihoods, as well curtailed policy responses and mitigation strategies. In Zimbabwe, the COVID-19 pandemic struck at a time the country was experiencing a worsening economic and humanitarian situation. This study focused more on community and household dynamics and response measures to cope with the pandemic. This paper presents a summary of findings emerging from a series of rapid assessment studies undertaken by the Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) Programme in Mvurwi and Concession areas of Mazowe District in Zimbabwe to examine how COVID-19 is affecting food systems and rural livelihoods in our research communities.
Written by, Chrispin Matenga and Munguzwe Hichaambwa.
To assess the impact of COVID-19 on local food systems and livelihoods, a total of 115 small-scale farming households (102 male- and 13 female headed) were interviewed from five communities (Lilanda, Luang (Mankanda), Masansa, Nshinso and Miloso (Tazara Corridor) surrounding the Mkushi Farm Block in the Central Province of Zambia between 30 September and 6 November 2020. The respondents were selected as a random sample, targeting 20-25 households per community or village. The small-scale farmers in these areas benefit from linkages with commercial farmers in the block.
Written by, Mirriam Matita and Masautso Chimombo.
COVID-19 continues to impact households and economies worldwide. For this reason, in June 2020 APRA started assessing its likely effects on food systems and livelihoods in Malawi. This report presents insights from the second round (R2) of data collection in October 2020. Data was collected from a stratified random sample of 111 households (59 female and 52 male respondents) drawn from an APRA household survey of groundnut producers in Mchinji and Ntchisi districts, Central Region, as well as from eight key informants. One additional round of research is planned for the first half of 2021.
Written by, Vine Mutyasira.
In response to COVID-19, the Government of Zimbabwe enforced a nationwide lockdown on 30 March 2020, closing most sectors of the economy, including informal markets. However, with limited cases, lockdown movement restrictions were eased and supermarkets, restaurants and vegetable markets allowed to reopen. Between 3-13 October 2020, a second-round (R2) of surveys was conducted, targeting farming communities in Mvurwi and Concession Areas of Mazowe District, to assess COVID-19 impacts on food production systems, supply chains and general livelihoods. This report summarises insights obtained from the phone-based survey, covering 102 respondents (20 female and 82 male-headed households), and 5 local key informants (councillors and extension officers). Results are compared to the earlier R1 survey carried out in late June/early July.
Written by, Gideon Boniface and C.G. Magomba.
On 8 June 2020, the Government of Tanzania officially declared the country to be free of COVID-19 and all restrictions have since been lifted. As of 3 December 2020, Tanzania had only 509 confirmed cases of the virus and 21 deaths. Nevertheless, neighbouring countries are still facing the threat of the pandemic, all of which are key trading partners. Their continuing COVID-19 control measures have disrupted regional and domestic agricultural markets and affected local livelihoods and food systems. This study analysed the resulting impacts in those systems in several rice-producing communities in Morogoro Region, south-western Tanzania.
Written by, John Olwande and Miltone Ayieko.
Since 12 March 2020, when Kenya reported the first COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Health confirmed a total of 45,076 cases and 839 deaths, as of 19 October.1 Despite the rising number of COVID-19 confirmed infections and deaths in Kenya during the third quarter (Q3) of 2020, the national and county governments relaxed some of the restrictions that had been in place during Q2 aimed at controlling the spread of COVID-19. This assessment was aimed at understanding the effects of COVID-19 at household level and attendant policy responses during Q3 of 2020, to inform actions to assure protection of local food systems, rural livelihoods and the supply of adequate, affordable food of acceptable quality to the population.
Written by, Louis Hodey and Fred Dzanku.
This study seeks to assess the continuing impact of COVID-19 on food systems and livelihoods in south-western Ghana and provides insights obtained from household-level and key informant data in the second of three surveys conducted during October/November 2020. This second round (R2) survey involved 107 households of oil palm farmers (86 male-headed and 21 female-headed) and 5 key local informants in the Mpohor and Ahanta West Districts of the Western Region.
Written by, Abebaw Assaye and Dawit Alemu.
This report presents an assessment of the changes in effects of COVID-19 on agricultural commercialisation, food and nutrition security, labour and employment, and poverty and well-being in rural Ethiopia by comparing the results of a baseline household survey (R1) in late June 2020 with a follow-up survey (R2) in late October 2020. Data was collected from a stratified random sample of 106 smallholder rice farmer households (24 female and 82 male-headed) in five kebeles (villages) in the Fogera Plain
area of Amhara Region. Data was also collected through 25 key informant interviews conducted in the kebeles.
Written by, Adebayo B. Aromolaran and Milu Muyanga.
This study provides insights from a second survey assessing COVID-19 impacts on agricultural commercialisation, food and nutrition security, labour and employment, and well-being in rural Nigeria. Data for round 2 (R2) were collected between September and October 2020, from 109 households that were interviewed in mid-July (R1). Households were drawn from a stratified random sample from three Local Government Areas in Ogun State and two in Kaduna State. This survey data is complemented by insights from seven in-depth key informant interviews. This analysis compares COVID-19 effects in the second quarter and the third quarter of 2020, which corresponds to the first and second 3-month periods after Nigeria’s countrywide lockdown was put in place.
Written by, Vine Mutyasira.
COVID-19 has undoubtedly affected lives and livelihoods across the globe. In Zimbabwe, preliminary indications point to a worsening economic situation in a country already facing macroeconomic challenges, particularly in rural communities where most households depend on agriculture. National lockdown and movement restrictions have affected agricultural activities as well as access to markets and farming inputs.
Written by, Gideon Boniface and C.G. Magomba.
The first case of COVID-19 in Tanzania was confirmed in March 2020. The government immediately imposed restrictions on mass gatherings, suspended international flights and established special medical camps for COVID-19 patients. They also published guidelines and health measures to be followed by citizens and emphasised these through media and physically through local government officials located across the country.
Written by, Mirriam Matita and Masautso Chimombo.
Given the ravaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, this study seeks to estimate its likely impact on food systems and livelihoods in Malawi. This briefing note is based on our stratified random sample of 114 household heads (32 female and 82 male) drawn from an APRA household survey of groundnut producers in Mchinji and Ntchisi districts, Central Region, as well as seven key informant interviews from those areas. The APRA COVID-19 data collection will be carried out over three rounds. This report presents insights obtained from the first round of research conducted during June/July 2020.
Written by, John Olwande.
Kenya confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on 12 March 2020. Since then, the government has been providing daily updates on the number of new COVID-19 infections, recoveries and deaths in the country, as well as implementing several interventions to manage the disease. The cumulative numbers as of 12 August 2020 were 27,425 new infections, 13,867 recoveries and 438 deaths, and rising. The objective of this assessment was to understand the effects of COVID-19 on the food system and the sub-set of the population largely dependent on agriculture. The findings were intended to inform actions to assure protection of rural livelihoods and
the continued supply of adequate and affordable food of acceptable quality to the population.
Written by, Louis Hodey and Fred Dzanku.
Given the ravaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, this study seeks to estimate its likely impact on food systems and livelihoods in south-western Ghana. Our sample consisted of 110 female and male respondents drawn randomly from an APRA household survey of oil palm producers in the Mpohor and Ahanta West Districts in the Western region, as well as a set of five key informant interviews. Data collection for this study will be carried out over three rounds. This report presents insights obtained from the first round conducted during June/July 2020.
Written by, Abebaw Assaye and Dawit Alemu
This report presents an early assessment of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on agricultural commercialisation, food and nutrition security, labour and employment, and poverty and well-being in rural Ethiopia. Data was collected from a stratified random sample of 107 households (23 female- and 84 male-headed). Respondents were drawn from a subset of households interviewed in a 2018 APRA survey of smallholder rice farmers in five kebeles (villages) in the Fogera Plain area of Amhara Region. The COVID-19 household survey data is complemented by data from 23 key informant interviews conducted in the kebeles. The data collection for this COVID-19 study will be carried out over three rounds. This report presents insights obtained from the first round conducted during late June/early July 2020.
Written by, Adebayo B. Aromolaran and Milu Muyanga.
This report presents an early assessment of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on agricultural commercialisation, food and nutrition security, labour and employment, and poverty and well-being in rural Nigeria. Data was collected from a stratified random sample of 110 respondent households drawn from five Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Ogun (Ijebu East, Obafemi Owode, and Imeko Afon) and Kaduna (Chikun and Soba) States. At the time of the survey, these LGAs had reported a small number of COVID-19 cases. The survey data is complemented by insights from five in-depth key informant interviews conducted in the LGAs. The APRA COVID-19 data collection will be carried out over three rounds. This report presents insights obtained from the first round implemented during mid-July 2020.