Browsing: COVID-19

Time is running out for Africa to guarantee food security for its population. As the saying goes, it is not very reasonable to keep doing the same things and expect different results.

Africa needs crops that can withstand pests and disease, withstand drought, flourish without excessive pesticides and fertilizers, and produce healthy food. Africa needs crops to enable smallholder farmers to prosper. GMOs provide a powerful instrument for Africa to address these demands when other choices fail over time.

Sierra Leone’s government may have to impose severe austerity measures.  These measures will address inefficiencies and inadequacies in allocating and administrating public resources. However, all hands must be on deck within these economic management measures. This will secure the ring-fencing of money for essential objectives like education, livelihood preservation, and health. These objectives remain critical to maintaining social stability and a rapid return to the economic recovery path.

This year’s progress has been threatened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has caused a global economic shock that has hit Africa at a time when the government’s policy space to respond to it is small to nonexistent.

Nations launched the AfCFTA as one of the actions made to support more extensive intra-African trade. The AfCFTA aspires to establish a unified continental market for goods and services. The agreement seeks to harmonise the continent’s various trade liberalization procedures and promote regional integration. Each African nation is a member of at least one of the continent’s approximately 30 bilateral or regional trade agreements.

Africa suffers from marginalization in the global trade system. Nevertheless, the African Regional Trade Agreements heralded a new age of economic integration with significant trade creation impacts. The path to free trade poses several significant obstacles and concerns that African governments must solve.

Rising costs have remained a critical issue in the aftermath of the outbreak. Data from the World Bank/NBS Nigeria – COVID-19 National Longitudinal Phone Survey 2020 reveals that food prices rose rapidly following the pandemic. In March and April, basic food commodity prices increased by 17.2 per cent and 18.37 per cent, respectively. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the rise remains the highest in two years.

Recent findings based on comprehensive and long-term monthly food price data have revealed considerable price rises for all chosen food categories during the pandemic. Imported rice and wheat costs, for example, have climbed by 41% and 21%, respectively.

Wheat prices surged by 21% nationally, with considerable increases in price dispersion across markets when the epidemic began, and prices continue to grow.

Wheat is the main component of bread and other products such as noodles, pasta, semolina, and other Nigerian pantry staples. The consumption of these items is higher in cities due to easier market access than in rural regions. Nevertheless, bread remains a major staple throughout the country.