Covid-19

The MSM Board has taken additional measures to limit the spread of the Corona (Covid-19) virus, in alignment with the measures announced by the Dutch Government.

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Covid-19 updates

Food Security Initiative

30-04-2020

The COVID-19 virus is hitting all of us hard, in terms of health and safety as well as in food production and supply. Perhaps one of the main challenges that comes with measures to contain the pandemic is protecting livelihoods and providing food to the urban poor.

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Moreover, if the pandemic spreads to the rural population it will potentially disrupt farming activities, with serious consequences for keeping food supply chains functioning and planting for next season’s crop going. So, as governments cope with the COVID-19 challenge, two major challenges related to food security come to the fore:

  1. Ensure food supply chains remain open and people can afford food, including urban dwellers, the rural poor and refugees, and
  2. Ensure crop production continues to take place to avoid next season food shortages.

Solutions to these challenges may be difficult to provide, and it shows more than ever that local food hubs are key in keeping food supply chains working. These chains should perhaps become shorter and locally oriented and best practices on how to organize this are scarce. It is in this domain that the Maastricht School of Management (MSM) can play a leading role. MSM currently implements over 30 larger, mainly agri-educational-focused, capacity development projects in 25 countries covering 80 regions around the world. In each country we have a network of local project managers and experts. By collaborating with this network, we are able to provide insights in how local food-hubs operate, what challenges arise when taking measures to fight COVID-19, and how to adapt to new situations.

Through regular updates, MSM will bring the latest insights on COVID-19’s impact on food security from the countries (and rural areas) where we operate. The updates will inform on the effects on small- scale and commercial farmers, traders, processors, input suppliers, financial institutions, and will provide useful insights for policy makers, donors, NGO’s and scientists. In doing so, MSM can indicate potential changes in food flows in regions around the world and support decision making on how to counterbalance negative impacts of COVID-19 measures. Supported by data flows and local partners, MSM will facilitate multi-actor and cross-sector collaboration through platforms for action. 

Join MSM's food Security Initiative and register here for regular updates.