United Nations' FAO says Protracted Lockdown will Quickly Put a Strain on Global Food Supply

  • United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has said in a report that a protracted COVID-19 pandemic will “quickly put a strain on the food supply chains, a complex web of interactions involving farmers, agricultural inputs, processing plants, shipping, retailers and more.” In a paper, World Food Security (CFS) has said that the poorest citizens of the world will be the worst affected by the pandemic. Some of the major factors that have adversely affected food production and transport goods internationally are border closures, disruptions in the shipping and aviation industries, and restrictions in movement. The UN Conference on Trade and Development said last month that containers of food, medicine, and other products are kept on tarmacs and holding areas as thousands of planes remain grounded and ports remain closed. The FAO report also said that crunches in labor and logistics constraints have caused significant loss in fresh vegetables and also decreased capacity of slaughterhouses in China. However, the report also mentions that drastic steps taken by China such as the distribution of $20 million in subsidies by the central government for revival of agriculture and heavy investment in agricultural technology have helped the country soften the blow to the food industry.