Food Coalition

Strengthening agricultural and food policy response strategies for post-COVID-19 recovery

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments across the world are adopting new policy measures at an unprecedented speed, including in areas such as monetary policy, trade restrictions, agricultural and food policies and changes in fiscal support. When analyzing the effects of COVID-19 on agri-food markets, most effort has gone into the monitoring of food prices at global level. However, governments lack evidence on how the rapidly changing policy environment is affecting domestic producer and consumer prices in agricultural value chains. In low- and middle-income countries, this is particularly important for staple crops such as rice, maize and wheat. Not only do these products constitute the main source of calories for the world’s poorer households, but, importantly, they are also produced by large numbers of smallholder farmers and represent a high share of agricultural GDP in low- and middle-income countries.

With fiscal budgets under strain across many regions, it is becoming even more important for governments to adopt agricultural and food policies that are efficient and effective. To this end, governments require robust, reliable and real-time evidence on how policies are affecting domestic markets and disrupting local economies. Such evidence will enable governments to take corrective action, realign agricultural policies and help create the right incentives for agricultural producers to weather the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 and move towards the recovery.

FAO’s extensive policy monitoring and analysis experience has shown that in times of crisis, solid evidence about how policy generates incentives or disincentives for farmers is a key component of a coherent policy response strategy and an essential element for recovery.

Priority Areas of work: Data for Decision-making
SDG: 1. No Poverty, 2. Zero Hunger, 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth, 10. Reduced Inequality, 17. Partnerships to achieve the Goal
Level: Global
Budget: USD 430 000

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