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Study unveils Covid pangs

AFFECTED—Cross border traders

Findings of a recent study show that the Covid pandemic has had a great impact on production, markets, trade, nutrition and poverty in the country and its regional counterparts.

The study was done under AKADEMIYA2063 and The Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support Systems for Southern Africa (ReSAKSS), in collaboration with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI),

Results of the findings were released recently through the National Planning Commission (NPC).

They indicate that restrictions and constraints on movement of goods caused logistics breakdowns and labour shortages at different stages along the food value chains and have a negative impact on the supply of and demand for agricultural and food products.

ReSAKSS Southern Africa Coordinator Greenwell Matchaya said with travel restrictions in and across the borders, maize prices declined significantly in March, April and May but started to stabilise in June with the easing of confinement measures.

AKADEMIYA 2063 Executive Chairperson Ousmane Badiane said countries need to deal with the crises and other similar shocks in the near future.

“Unless countries have a better approach to managing crises such Covid and similar shocks in the future, it will be hard to achieve the development objectives related to the sustainable agricultural production and food security, improvement of regional integration and international trade as well as those seeking to reduce vulnerability especially of poor sections of society.” Badiane said.

NPC Director of Knowledge and Learning Joseph Nagoli said the research is significant in finding solutions to shocks in the agriculture sector which is one of the pillars of the vison 20163.

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