COVID-19 pandemic and Food Shortages
The COVID-19 pandemic has shut down almost all the businesses around the world because of the lockdown order. This disruption can be disastrous since it can cut off the supply chain, which in turn can increase the food demand.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in a report, stated that the supermarket shelves remained stocked, but this COVID-19 pandemic crisis could put a serious strain on the food supply chain. The food supply chain is a complex network of interaction where farmers, different agricultural inputs, yield, processing plants, shipping, selling, and more are involved.
This issue is, however, not about food security, at least not for this moment. Instead, it is the drastic measure of the present world in response to this COVID-19 pandemic crisis. The borders of every country are closed, the movements are restricted, and there are disruptions in product shopping. All of these restrictions and disruptions have made it complex to resume food production and ship the goods worldwide.
In addition to these, the ports are closed. Thousands of planes are now in the port, which has completely cut off any interaction with another country. This cut off can affect the poorest countries most – warned by the Committee on World Food Security last month. Some multinational companies like Unilever and Nestle, scientists, and politicians sent a letter to the world leaders, which read that businesses, governments, international agencies and civil society needed to take immediate action to prevent this COVID-19 pandemic crisis, which would be turning to the global food crisis.
Firstly, China was severely affected by the pandemic. On the other hand, Australia is badly facing export pressure. The country exports two-thirds of the agricultural products and the major supplier is the Pacific and Asia region. The trade is now under a dangerous threat.