Beyond COVID-19: Turning Crisis to Opportunity in Nigeria through Urban Agriculture
Keywords:COVID-19, Pandemic, Urban Agriculture, Nigeria, Food Security
Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) all over the world, countries have tried several strategies to minimize its impacts on their citizens and the economy. The first case in Nigeria was reported on February 27, 2020, and since then the infection has been spreading like wildfire, making Nigeria one of the three most affected African countries in Africa and the most affected in West Africa (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [FAO], 2020-a). To slow down its pace, governments at all levels have taken measures to curb its impacts. Measures taken include mandating social distancing, curfews, and, in some cases, complete lockdowns. The lockdown of virtually all sectors of the economy, especially the agricultural sector, has exacerbated food shortages in the country, especially among urban dwellers. Unfortunately, agriculture in most developing countries is highly related to physical, rather than mechanized, labor. The labor shortage due to movement restrictions (both intra- and interstate) and social distancing as a result of COVID-19 are starting to affect agricultural producers in the hinterlands, thus worsening the food supply to urban centers that are coincidentally the epicenters of the disease.
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