As of 17 September 2020, global confirmed cases of COVID-19 reached 29.74 million, covering 216 countries, areas or territories (WHO, 2020). The pandemic has put local food systems at risk of disruptions along the entire agri-food value chain. Cities and local governments are currently playing a major role in limiting the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and in mitigating disruptions to their local food systems.
To better understand the situation, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been closely monitoring local food system status and prevailing practices during COVID-19, collecting information and insights from different cities on key challenges and specific responses through various channels. In particular, FAO conducted a global survey between April and May 2020 to map local responses to the pandemic – the survey obtained 860 responses, offering crucial information that provides a focus for strengthening relevant policies and programmes and improving the resilience of local food systems (FAO, 2020a). In addition, in recent months FAO has published a series of articles through the City Region Food System (CRFS) Programme (FAO, 2020b), launched a database on agri-food-related information through the Food for Cities Network, and launched a dedicated COVID-19 section monitoring relevant resources in the FAO Urban Food Action Platform (FAO, 2020c).
The insights, data and cases presented in this paper are primarily based on information from the above sources, which delve into the role of local food production and value chains in enhancing local food systems’ resilience against COVID-19.
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations