فيروس كورونا المستجد (كوفيد-١٩)
Policy responses

Where possible, central governments should provide in-time & targeted funding to local authorities to take targeted measures at decentralized level to sustain production in hard-hit regions.

Governments are encouraged to review their public procurement systems and adjust procurement to support commodities whose demand is most adversely affected by the outbreak. In addition, procurement regulations can be adapted to integrate food service operators affected by lockdown and social distancing measures to the list of eligible suppliers.

Establish protocols to ensure that time-sensitive critical research is maintained. For instance, in the US, labs have deployed protocols to ensure that agricultural research that is considered critical continues, despite the outbreak.

 

Links and references

Hu, Y. (2003, 7 3). To what degree SARS affects agriculture, farmers and rural areas. Retrieved from China.com.cn: http://www.china.com.cn/chinese/EC-c/358907.htm
https://en.tempo.co/read/1321923/jokowi-instructs-budget-reallocation-due-to-coronavirus-crisis ; https://www.npr.org/2020/03/19/818322136/heres-what-is-in-the-families-first-coronavirus-aid-package-trump-approved?t=1584732572476
https://grants.cfaes.ohio-state.edu/resources/covid-19-guidance
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/21/coronavirus-300-million-children-to-miss-school-meals-amid-shutdowns (WFP corona)

Pros Funding for local authorities: The spread of the virus so far has generally been concentrated in specific regions. If fiscal transfers to these subnational authorities is scaled up, national authorities may be able to reduce the economic impacts without the need to roll out a fully-fledged large-scale national programme, which many countries may not have the fiscal capacity to implement. Doing so may also reduce the impacts on agricultural production, poverty and, if health financing is also increased in hard-hit regions, minimize the contagion to other regions. Procurement systems: If procurement systems are re-directions towards those nutritious, locally/nationally produced products whose demand is worse-affected by the covid, this may reduce the aggregate demand shock for these commodities. Maintaining core Agricultural research functions operation: Often, agricultural research experiments can take years. If these are stopped altogether, this could delay by many years the release of new varieties/agricultural innovations that could have very positive medium-to-long-term impacts. Maintaining critical and essentialy research will help minimizing the medium/long-term impacts of the virus on agricultural performance.
Cons Funding for local authorities: In countries where fiscal systems are rigid, it may not be easy/popular to re-allocate funds to a specific region. In addition to this, the recipient region may not have the capacity to absorb a large influx of money. Also, if there are large transfers with minimal supervision, this could lead to an increase in corrupt behaviour. Procurement systems: These systems may not be easy to review, may require legislative approval. Also, there may be contracts with existing suppliers. The demand for procured food, itself may be affected. For instance, WFP estimates that school closures are likely to be affecting 300 million children, which are missing school meals. About half of all WFP-funded school feeding programmes were no longer receiving school feeding. This may decrease the demand for publicly procured food. On the other hand, it also frees up resources to re-direct elsewhere. Maintaining agricultural research: It may be difficult to define essential and critical research. Also, it is impossible, even with the best protocols, to have a 0 risk of contamination. Such protocols could thus reduce the number of infections, but not avoid them altogether. If researchers are infected and die, aside from the tragic human loss, this is likely to have an effect in the agricultural knowledge of the country.
Minimum conditions Sub-national funding: Existing fiscal system that allows decentralized transfers with an appropriate compromise between checks and balances and delivery of the funds; capacity of subnational unit to absorb increased spending and respond by increasing the delivery of agricultural inputs/services accordingly. Procurement systems: Legislative capacity to re-direct procurement systems; available funds Maintaining core research: Capacity to draft protocols quickly; willingness of researchers to be exposed to a low(er) risk of infection; Ability of research to be continued with reduced number of staff
Governance Central, local governments

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