August 3

Viewpoint: Coronavirus Shows Smallholder Farmers Need Help to Thrive

By Dr. Mwendah M’Mailuth

The Covid-19 has revealed how vulnerable the agri-food value chain is to abrupt external shocks, hence the urgent call for stakeholders to help build resilience in the sector.

For millions of farm families, the impact of Covid-19 is catastrophic. Smallholder farmers depend on farm-level production for nourishment and income to support their families pay for education, healthcare and other essentials.

The agricultural sector is critical to the agri-food system and an indispensable pillar to economic architecture. It contributes 24 (directly) per cent and 27 per cent (indirectly) to the country’s GDP, supports livelihoods of about 80 per cent of Kenya’s rural population and, through forward and backward linkages, provides employment to about 65 per cent of workers.

However, crippled by the triple effect of locust invasion, weather variability and now Covid-19, farmers are facing a major crisis. Consequently, it is important for stakeholders to mitigate the impact of these crises by supporting farmers to build resilience.

Photo courtesy of World Bank Photo Collection.

Source: The Standard (link opens in a new window)

Agriculture, Coronavirus
food security, smallholder farmers