This page is dedicated to blogs, news and research papers related to Covid-19.

Latest Covid-19 blogs

Agricultural commercialisation in Africa, COVID-19 and social difference
November 15, 2021

African policymaking has turned to agricultural commercialisation as an engine of growth in the 21st century. But the effects have not been the same for everyone, entrenching long-term social difference based on gender, wealth, age and generation, ethnicity and citizenship. Social differentiation within commercial agriculture is shaped by power dynamics and the distribution of benefits between elites, and their relationship with the formal and informal institutions that underpin political systems. This idea of a ‘political settlement’ in the way that power is exercised between groups, often to avoid conflict or to give preferential access to a specific resource, gives different groups of people different standing within agricultural value chains. COVID-19 as a type of shock also shapes political settlements and the resilience of different actors in their response to the pandemic. It can also reinforce pre-existing trends in social differentiation. APRA’s research showed how this has happened across Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe, and APRA Working Paper 69 presents the research findings.

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Online COVID-19 & poverty: Informing economic and social policy in Malawi
November 4, 2021

How is COVID-19 impacting people living in poverty in Malawi? What are the policies needed to mitigate these impacts? Recent research from COVID Collective partners and APRA finds COVID-19 has had a detrimental impact on people living in, or at risk of, poverty in Malawi – particularly in regard to their education, food security and livelihoods.

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Zimbabwe’s bumper harvest: what explains the success?
November 4, 2021

As farmers turn to the next season with the beginning of the rains, the country is in a good position having reaped a bumper harvest in 2020/21. An estimated 2.7 million tonnes of maize were produced, triple the amount in the previous season. Given COVID-19 and the endless lockdowns and restrictions, this is remarkable and witness to the possibilities of significant production if the rains are good.

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Moving up, or out? The political economy of agricultural value chains and commercialisation in Africa
October 14, 2021

Some initial – and selective – reflections on 11 case studies of agricultural value chains and commercialisation across sub-Saharan Africa demonstrate that the policy choices to promote a value chain depend, to a large extent, on its importance to the most powerful. This includes the ability of a value chain to generate, accumulate and distribute resources. The case studies thus give insights into the various ways in which politics play a role in facilitating or hindering the development of the value chain. This blog explores the findings of these papers.

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The politics of control in Zimbabwe’s COVID times
October 4, 2021

The COVID-19 situation in Zimbabwe has improved since our last report, with infection rates and deaths declining in all areas. The alert level has been reduced to Level 2, with restrictions relaxed. At the same time, the vaccination drive has continued apace, with the government now mandating all civil servants to take a shot. So far just over 20 percent of the population has received at least one vaccine – mostly from China – although there are big variations across locations and age groups.

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Enhancing nutrition for a stronger, sustainable post-COVID-19 rice sector in Africa
August 31, 2021

In the second blog of a series following APRA’s participation in an Independent Food Systems Dialogue on sustainable value chains for Africa’s rice sector in a post-COVID 19 context, we examine the nutrition-related outcomes of the dialogue. The event, which was held on July 29th, 2021, was attended by participants from African countries including Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, and United Republic of Tanzania, as well as representatives of nations all over the world.

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Building sustainable post COVID-19 value chains for Africa’s rice sector: Outcomes of an East African Dialogue
August 19, 2021

This blog reflects on the recent East Africa Independent Food Systems Dialogue, which brought together rice producers, the research and academic community, donors and investors, the private sector and farmers which aimed to discuss and develop pathways to building sustainable value chains in Africa’s rice sector.

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