Recovery, Renewal, Resilience

Lessons for Resilience

Consider the vulnerability of agricultural producers and workers after COVID-19.
Vulnerable people

Like many other sectors, agricultural production has been significantly impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. Farmers and workers in rural areas in developing countries live with low levels of income and scarce access to public services so disasters and pandemics increase their vulnerability. Even so, the sector provides an opportunity for economic recovery, given that in countries such as Mexico agriculture grew by up to 20% during 2020. The Agricultural Association of Culiacan River in Mexico has implemented measures to protect and prevent the spread of infection between agricultural workers and sustain their sources of income. Consider the priorities of their recovery approach for the sector:

Maintain agricultural production, livelihoods, and income (Michoacán experience)

  • Strengthen the local chains of production and the local partnerships between agricultural and livestock producers and providers. In Michoacán, products that were mainly export-oriented are also being sold at the local level through the coordination of local farmers and governments
  • Implement subsidies at the local and state levels to protect small and medium-sized producers against increases in the price of inputs (e.g. farming equipment), particularly given the increased demand for such inputs during the recovery stages
  • Take advantage of existing local, regional, and international treaties and agreements that facilitate commerce and the exchange of products. In the absence of such arrangements, governments and financial institutions should provide financial guarantees to enable small producers to participate in these markets in the medium term

Protect the health and safety of agricultural workers and farmers. Increase preventive measures (Sinaloa experience)

  • Supply PPE to agricultural workers and increase sanitization measures in agricultural facilities
  • Implement sanitization protocols for the pickup and transport of workers to the field and back to their residency
  • Identify workers at risk because of previous health conditions, or because of dangerous working environments. Identify and prevent children and young teenagers from working in the fields
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