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Canada funds research into Covid-19 and food security in Africa

Image: CIAT [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Flickr

Topics include gender dimensions of food production and effects on staple crops and fisheries

A Canadian funder has awarded CA$1 million (US$760,000) to examine the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on food security and nutrition in Africa. The International Development Research Centre announced the 10 winning projects on 20 August. 

The winning organisations are already busy with other IDRC-supported projects but will broaden their work to examine Covid-19. Over six months they will collect data on local food systems, help food systems respond to the pandemic, and formulate policies for recovery.

Kenya hosts two projects, both based in Nairobi. The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization will research food security in semi-arid parts of the country. The United States International University Africa will assess gender policies of agribusinesses.

Tanzania’s Economic and Social Research Foundation will test the impact of Covid-19 on food and trade, while Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Organisation will analyse food production and supply in Kenya and Uganda.

In Southern Africa the University of Malawi will examine the fish value chain, while the South African Medical Research Council and the University of the Witwatersrand will jointly examine food security in urban areas of Johannesburg. The United States-based Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project will research staple crops in Zimbabwe.

The remaining projects focus on West Africa. The Canada-based non-profit Société de Coopération pour le Développement International will examine food security in the region as a whole. The Centre for Population and Environmental Development based in Benin City, Nigeria, will research informal food markets in the Niger Delta. Senegal’s Consortium pour la Recherche Économique et Sociale will do the same in the Dakar metropolitan area.