YAOUNDE, Cameroon – Food production in 2021 likely to be affected by conflicts and COVID-19 restrictive measures, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in a report on Friday.
Foor prices in May were at high levels as movement restrictions used to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus disrupted transport at regional level and slowed down trade, the FAO said.
For instance, rice imports in the first quarter of 2021 were about 30 % lower than at the same period in 2020, when COVID-19 preventive measures were not yet in place, the UN agency added.
Ongoing conflicts in Northwest and Southwest regions, and the restrictive measures implemented across the country to control the COVID-19 pandemic, are expected to continue affecting agricultural activities and limiting farmers’ access to crop-growing areas and inputs, with an overall negative impact on the 2021 crop production, according to the FAO.
About 1.9 million people projected to be severely food insecure in June‑August 2021, according to the March 2021 Cadre Harmonisé (CH) analysis.
This mainly results from the impacts of Boko Haram incursions in the Far North Region, the socio‑political unrest in the Northwest and Southwest regions and COVID‑19 related economic shocks, which disrupted trade flows and agricultural practices, deteriorated livelihoods and displaced people.
About 42 % of the severely food insecure people are located in Northwest and Southwest regions, the FAO said.