The COVID-19 pandemic closed down the world, but it has also demonstrated that a rapid global response is possible!
The events of this year have shown beyond doubt that human health is intimately connected to the natural world. The pandemic hit our agriculture and food hard, its impact threatens to exacerbate poverty, especially for the rural poor whose livelihoods depend on agriculture.
Could the COVID-19 experience help us create a food secure world through a transformative structural change? Is it possible to provide critical COVID-19 relief without losing sight of the long-term goals of food security and community resilience?
To avoid or prevent the same vulnerable group of people from being affected by the next crisis – be it a new disease outbreak, an unexpected drop in commodity prices or a poor harvest due to unfavorable weather events or pest infestation – the resilience and the capacity of rural people and rural communities to cope with shocks need to be stronger.
Investment in rural development and agriculture makes rural people self-reliant and enables them to mitigate the impact of severe events, increasing prosperity, ensuring sustainable food systems and food security, and strengthening resilience.
- Johannes Oljelund, Director-General for international development cooperation, Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs
- Åslaug Marie Haga, Associate Vice-President of the External Relations and Governance Department, International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD
- Line Gordon, Director, Stockholm Resilience Centre, SRC at Stockholm University.
- Ruramiso Mashumba, CEO at Mnandi Africa
- Stephen Muchiri, CEO at Eastern Africa Farmers Federation
Moderator: Matthew Fielding, Deputy Director of the Swedish International Agriculture Network Initiative, SIANI.