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Making agrifood systems more resilient to shocks: Lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: November 25, 2021 10:51AM

*Rome ‚??*Countries need to make their agrifood systems more resilient to
sudden shocks of the kind witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic, which
has emerged as a major driver of the latest rise in global hunger
estimates. According to a new report published today by the Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), without proper
preparation unpredictable shocks will continue to undermine agrifood

This year‚??sThe State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) report
[] FAO is entitled
‚??Making agrifood systems more resilient to shocks and stresses.‚?Ě It
provides an assessment of the ability of national agrifood systems to
respond to or recover readily from shocks and stressors. It also offers
guidance to governments on how they can improve resilience.

Today there are approximately 3 billion people who cannot afford a
healthy diet. The SOFA 2021 report estimates that an additional 1
billion people would join their ranks if a shock reduced incomes by
one-third. Moreover, food costs could increase for up to 845 million
people if a disruption to critical transport links were to occur. The
report defines shocks as ‚??short-term deviations from long-term trends
that have substantial negative effects on a system, people‚??s state of
well-being, assets, livelihoods, safety and ability to withstand future
shocks.‚?Ě Examples include extreme weather events and surges in plant and
animal diseases and pests.

Even before COVID-19 broke out, the world was not on track to meet its
commitment to end hunger and malnutrition by 2030. And while food
production and supply chains have historically been vulnerable to
climate extremes, armed conflicts or increases in global food prices,
the frequency and severity of such shocks is on the rise.

The report‚??s publication could not be timelier.

‚??The pandemic highlighted both the resilience and the weakness of our
agrifood systems,‚?Ě said FAO Director-General QU Dongyu at a virtual
event for the launch, which also featured a presentation by FAO Chief
Economist Maximo Torero Cullen and a panel discussion with policymakers
and academics.

Making agrifood systems more resilient to shocks: Lessons from the
COVID-19 pandemic (

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