THE Centre for Trade Policy and Development (CTPD) has called on Government to give clear COVID-19 guidelines for the 2020 agricultural marketing season particularly in rural areas.
CTPD has observed that the current policy direction by Government to the COVID-19 crisis was inadequate in as far as providing a good framework for the fast approaching agriculture marketing season.
In a media statement, CTPD senior researcher Dr Simon Manda noted that the continued restrictions on social and economic activities, risked causing widespread vulnerabilities especially for rural producers who face storage challenges and require quick access to markets.
“It is a well-known fact that rural producers face diverse challenges such as poor storage, limited access to markets coupled with unclear agriculture marketing guidelines which often lead to serious delays in taking farmer’s produce to the markets eventually leading to sharp drops in commodity supply and price hikes.” he noted
CTPD fees that a prudent but cautious approach to agriculture marketing which considers the local context in the country could be advanced with clear marketing guidelines as the Government continued to fight the COVID-19 virus.
“The Centre has however warned that any delays to create COVID-19 agriculture marketing related guidelines might create social and economic problems probably much bigger than COVID-19 itself.”
“We believe that in the current crisis, supporting broad based livelihoods will be crucial given that social protection is minimal.”
©Kalemba May 18, 2020