A Multi-Phase Assessment of the Effects of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Zimbabwe

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.

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