Covid-19 pandemic threatens food security

Covid-19 pandemic threatens food security

While the new type of corona virus (Covid-19) epidemic caused serious problems in food supply due to the closing of borders of many countries, the restriction of food exports by some countries concerned about supply-related uncertainties further deepened this crisis.

The epidemic affected the supply chain and food demand, which are the main elements of the agricultural sector, and caused problems in the supply chain as many countries closed their borders and imposed travel restrictions.

In the beginning, the main challenge was not food availability, but easy access to food. However, the restriction of food exports by some countries, which were concerned about supply-related uncertainties, added a new one to these problems.

Waste has also increased during the epidemic, especially due to the restrictions that hinder the supply of fresh food.


Restrictions and quarantine measures have reduced access to markets, production capacities and sales of agricultural and livestock producers and fishermen. It particularly affected small-scale farmers, migrant and informal workers, nomadic herders and fishermen.

In countries already affected by other crises, small producers face growing difficulties in accessing inputs such as seeds and fertilizers with rising prices.

While the extent of the possible consequences of the Covid-19 epidemic on national production in the world is not yet clear, for example, in Afghanistan, one of the countries where the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) conducts research, grain, fruit, vegetable and dairy products decreased by more than 50 percent in 2020. is estimated.

Disruptions in the food supply chain persist, varying from region to region.


The epidemic also negatively affected the livestock sector by causing a decrease in the access to animal feed and the capacity of slaughterhouses.

FAO’s findings show that the livestock sector is particularly vulnerable to the effects of the pandemic.

Fresh fish and fishery products, which also perish very quickly and need to be sold, processed or stored in a relatively limited time, are particularly at risk.

World total meat production is estimated to fall by 1.7 percent in 2020 due to market disruptions due to the Covid-19 outbreak, animal diseases and the persistent effects of drought.

Food markets in general are expected to face more uncertainty in the coming months.

According to the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2020-2029 report, the epidemic is expected to further weaken food security by reducing demand over the next few years.

On the other hand, FAO predicts that grain supply and demand will normalize in the 2020-2021 season, despite the uncertainties caused by the epidemic.


In an analysis published by FAO, it was concluded that the domino effect of the Covid-19 epidemic further deepened the existing hunger-triggering factors in 27 countries. Again in 2021, millions of people were driven into more acute food insecurity due to the epidemic, conflict and extreme weather events.

FAO’s report on the subject points out that in 2020, at least 155 million people in 55 countries/regions experienced acute food insecurity at crisis or worse levels.

For example, while the number of people trying to deal with the food crisis in Somalia is expected to triple in the Covid-19 outbreak, 13.2 million people have experienced severe food insecurity since the implementation of the Covid-19 measures in Afghanistan.

In Sudan, it is stated that 9.6 million people experienced severe food insecurity in the July-September period of 2020.

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