One measure introduced in China involved opening a “green channel” to expedite the delivery of fresh agricultural products and prohibiting unauthorised roadblocks.
Third, governments must also reinforce food security by investing in food safety.
Though the original source of Covid-19 remains unconfirmed, the outbreak has raised awareness of the risk of animal-borne disease from wild food markets, which led to a ban in China.
In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that foodborne disease caused almost 140,000 deaths a year in Africa, while the annual human capital or productivity loss associated with foodborne illness in sub-Saharan Africa is around US$16.7 billion.
With more than 800 million going without adequate food worldwide, hunger is still likely to kill more people than Covid-19 this year, placing additional stress on already fragile public health systems, and exacerbating the rising associated challenges of migration and conflict.
But with the help of agricultural science and research from CGIAR and its partners – whether biofortified crops needed by malnourished communities or strengthened rural-urban links – it is possible to minimise the impact of Covid-19 on our food systems and – as a result – on global hunger, health and security.