COVID-19: What Nigeria, Others Should Do to Protect Food and Agriculture

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Countries need to meet the immediate food need of their vulnerable populations, UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has said.

This is among other measures the international food agency said countries around the world must take reduce the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

FAO in a recent statement on its website said countries must boost their social protection programme as well as keep food supply chain flowing.

The agency said that for the proactive measure to be effective, countries must ensure that they provide emergency food to their citizenry.

It added that they should also ensure that they prevent undernourishment by scaling up nutritional support.

The agency said countries should ensure multiple payments to help families meet their basic needs and also provide complementary entitlement to off-set loss of income for small-scale producers.

The agency also urged the government to explore the use of food banks which it says could be done through direct provision of food by government.

FAO also urged countries to reduce trade-related costs that would help to reduce food wastage and losses and reduce logistics bottlenecks.

“Policy makers must monitor trends and take care to avoid accidentally tightening food-supply conditions, something that China has managed so far with creative and adaptive methods,” it said in part.

The World Health Organisation on March 11 declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic.

Since its outbreak, the virus has killed thousands of persons around the world with the global number of confirmed cases at over 800, 000 as at March 31, 2020 _Guardian UK_ reports.



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