Impact of COVID-19 on food security and agriculture
• The onset of the economic crisis during the last quarter of 2019, exacerbated by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to an economic recession, compounding existing vulnerabilities and the already challenging situation the country is facing.
• The combined impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and the economic freefall on people’s livelihoods is catastrophic, particularly for the most vulnerable among the Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians, such as youth, daily workers, female-headed households, the elderly and people with specific needs.
• Movement restrictions, loss of income and price inflation have led to declining purchasing power, increasing the food insecurity of vulnerable populations.
• The agriculture sector, which has already been disproportionately affected by the current economic and financial crisis, is seriously impacted by an increase in the costs of imported agricultural inputs (including seeds, fertilizers and fodder), thus putting in peril the coming cropping seasons.
• The COVID-19 pandemic is causing an additional burden on farmers as most organizations suspended their field interventions for almost three months during the lockdown and farmers are also not able to sell their produce due to mobility restrictions.
• COVID-19 is also exacerbating pre-existing structural issues in the agriculture sector. Poultry and dairy producers are facing increased input costs, thus reducing their profitability. This is also affecting consumers as the price of eggs and dairy products is increasing.