Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Smallholder Farmers

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on all agricultural sectors including small farmers. According to a survey conducted by TechnoServe's agriculture program teams from July to November 2020 in 10 countries, the following are the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on small farmers:

1. Covid-19 Led to Significant Decrease in Income

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a major shock for small farmers. Based on the survey results, 54% of farmers reported a decrease in direct income due to the Covid-19 crisis since July 2020. This was mainly due to the drastic drop in crop prices.

2. Issues in Food Security

Apart from being squeezed by lower incomes, smallholder farmers face food security challenges in their households. To deal with this issue, most farmers overcome it by reducing the frequency of eating and switching to cheaper foods. For the rest, they sold their assets to survive.

3. Reduced Investment in The Agricultural Sector

Due to the shock to income, smallholders reported that it had an impact on their ability to invest in their farms. Pressured by family needs and high food prices, they found it difficult to spend money on their agriculture. The decline in quality also had an effect on the reduction in investment in the agricultural sector.

Key Takeaway

From the explanation above, we know that in the agricultural sector, especially smallholder farmers, they are experiencing shocks due to the COVID-19 pandemic and great challenges to survive this difficult time.

The results of the survey by Technoserve explain that 3 efforts can be made to help them are: intensifying support to key supply chain intermediaries; enabling capital investment for farmers; utilizing technology, providing training, and consulting for farmers to improve their resilience.

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