Global experts says paradigm shift key to avert post COVID-19 food crisis

Source: Xinhua| 2020-06-25 19:26:28|Editor: huaxia

NAIROBI, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Countries must overhaul food production systems, ensure they are climate-resilient and profitable at small-holder level to avert hunger and malnutrition as the post-COVID-19 recovery gathers steam, experts said on Thursday.

The international experts in a report titled "Actions to Transform Food Systems Under Climate Change" that was launched in Nairobi, said that a radical shift is required to ensure that agricultural systems meet dietary and financial needs of communities already battered by the pandemic.

"It is time for all of us to get talking about food and most importantly food systems," said David Nabarro, World Health Organization (WHO) special envoy for COVID-19.

"That is all the different elements - from food production to processing to marketing and consumption, and all the steps along the way," he added.

He said that the COVID-19 pandemic should serve as a wake-up call for governments to invest in agricultural value chains that can withstand future shocks.

The team of international experts in their report said that countries should adopt an ambitious roadmap to reorganize agricultural systems during the COVID-19 era, in order to boost food security and rural incomes.

According to the experts, the twin challenges of COVID-19 and climate change have already worsened hunger and malnutrition, hence the need for policy reforms, increased financing, adoption of technologies and innovations to boost crop production.

"The disruptions caused by this pandemic have at least awakened the world to the fact that our food systems are far more vulnerable than many realized," said Bruce Campbell, director, Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security.

Campbell said that radical transformation on farming methods, diets, and trade in agricultural commodities is required to build the resilience of local communities amid COVID-19 disruptions.

The international experts proposed adoption of zero-carbon agriculture, sustainable financing, involvement of women and youth, market reforms and investments in modern storage facilities as prerequisites to a food secure post-COVID-19 era. Enditem