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Guidelines to increase the resilience of agricultural supply chains

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on food and agriculture have been felt all over the world. As the pandemic unfolded, considerable attention began to be paid to the resilience of agricultural supply chains to COVID-19-related shocks, as well as to natural and human-induced shocks more generally. These "Guidelines to increase the resilience of agricultural supply chains" are intended for policymakers and other stakeholders who need a broad grasp of the concepts, issues and possible approaches involved.

Efforts to strengthen resilience to risks need to be based on a thorough analysis of the exposure and vulnerability of supply chains to them, and on a cost–benefit assessment of damages versus interventions. In addition, not all decisions can be based on commercial and economic considerations, as political priorities will also play a role. Governments may take the lead in setting policy priorities based on assessments of risk and resilience capacities, but it is actors throughout the supply chain who are directly affected and who need to consider business strategies and interventions to be able to adapt and transform for the future. Governments play an essential role by supporting the efforts of supply chain businesses and by building general resilience through establishing an appropriate policy and institutional environment, and through the investments they make in physical infrastructure, in putting social protection in place, and in facilitating and promoting collaboration and cooperation. Enhancing general resilience against future risks is important as new risks emerge, and the frequency and intensity of known risks grow with climate change and increasing pressure on natural resources.