The International Crops Research Institute (ICRISAT) is working with an array of development partners in Eastern and Southern Africa to build resilient and sustainable farming systems in the region in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. It presents a four-dimensional plan – diversification of farming systems, seed accessibility, capacity building and gender integration – through which it aims to continue supporting vulnerable farming communities.
Building on experience with its existing partner networks, ICRISAT’s market-oriented and partnership-based projects can alleviate the pandemic-related stresses on communities through these four interventions:
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation, COVID-19-induced breakdowns in the food supply chain represent serious concerns for food and nutrition security in Africa. In Malawi, 1.9 million people are already in need of food assistance, despite experiencing a good growing season, with maize, the staple crop, projected to yield 25 per cent above the previous five-year average.
Ensuring food and nutrition security for a growing population while adjusting to an overall net increase of pandemics and disasters is a major global challenge. ICRISAT’s efforts are a step in the direction of meeting this challenge.
Link to ICRISAT’s work in seed systems