Restrictions on markets will reduce farmers’ options – Think tank


A think tank says restrictions on informal markets due to coronavirus will restrict farmers’ options for selling crops as they enter the into the major harvest and marketing season.

Mwapata Institute Executive Director Sloans Chimatiro said this in a statement.

Chimatiro went on to say that despite government setting measures which are essential for mitigation of coronavirus, it is anticipated that people engaged in Malawi’s Agri-food system may be affected in many ways.

He said government needs evidence based guidance to quickly design policies that effectively mitigate the impact of COVID-19 that threatens to disrupt supply chains and livelihoods.

The think tank has since initiated a study to assess the potential effects of the coronavirus on Agri- food system and how players along the agriculture value chains are being affected.

Chimatiro said the study will be in three phases and the first will involve the compilation of COVID -19 facts in Malawi, such as government policy responses, potential effects of the disease, vulnerability factors and among others.

“The second phase of the study will be based on telephone interviews with cross-section of the major players in along the agriculture value chains to capture their voices and gather evidence on how they are being affected by Covid-19. The results of this stage are expected this mid- June 2020.

“The third phase of this study will assess the longer-term impacts of the pandemic and propose evidence -based strategies,” he explained.

Mwapata Institute is an independent agriculture policy think tank that is engaging the government of Malawi, private sector and the civil society stakeholders in a program of applied of policy analysis, outreach, capacity building and coordination.

The Organization aims at support an emerging cadre of policy experts in defining process that will strengthening Malawi’s capacity to consider, determine and implement effective reforms in the wider Agri-food system.