Food Systems, Value Chains and Covid-19 Pandemic: a Review of Current Situation in Low and Middle Income Countries
Background: The food value chain is very important in driving the economy of every country. It ensures food availability by deploying the science, technology and expertise needed for crop production, food processing, storage and distribution. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic no doubt had unprecedented short-and long-term impact on the food value chain. The literature is characterised by a gap on how to deal with the impact of COVID-19 outbreak especially in low- and middle-income countries.
Methods: This article reviewed the impact of the pandemic on selected food value chains such as staple cereals and livestock. Measures on how best to respond to the COVID-19 impact on food value chains, and the importance of developing the food value chains were discussed.
Results: Systematic literature review highlights the abrupt impact of the pandemic on food value chains and reveals several challenges which include loss of earnings, restricted movements, panic buying, shift in eating patterns, depression and quarantines. The review also showed that within the supply chains, there was food availability at the onset of the outbreak but this depreciated over time due to panic buying and lockdown measures. Panic buying resulted in an increase in demand, upsurge in food prices and possibly, reduced purchase in the future, while unavailability of agricultural labour, transport delays and cancellations hampered food access.
Conclusion: Well organized and coordinated effort is required to establish long term measures that will contain the virus, recover the economy, as well as restore food production and access to food post pandemic.
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