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Impact of covid-19 outbreak pandemic on food supply chain in markets in gombe metropolis.

Abstract

The effect of COVID-9 on everyday life is an ongoing concern in existing literature Considering the food supply chain, one of the most important sectors of the economy, it has been seen that COVID-19 has an impact on the whole process from the field to the consumer. In the light of recent challenges in food supply chain, this study examins the impact of COVID-19 on food supply chain Gombe State, Nigeria. The study employed the survey research designed and 300 hundred respondents were surveyed using the structured questionnaire. The findings revealed that there is a significant relationship between COVID 19 and supply food chain. The study recommends that food protectionist policies should be avoided to prevent an increase in food prices. In conclusion, each country must realize the severity of the situation and sometimes should tighten or loosen the measures according to the spread of the pandemic. The supply chain also should be flexible enough to respond to the challenges in the food supply chain.

Keywords: COVID-19, Farmers, Supply Chain

 

Introduction

As the COVID-19 disease spread rapidly to six continents by the novel coronavirus SARS-nCoV-2, many countries around the world have declared state of health emergency. On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the rapidly spreading disease as a pandemic and called on countries to plan preparatory and response actions in line with the Global Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (WHO, 2020a; Vasavada, 2020). WHO explained that a pandemic caused by a coronavirus has not been seen before, and this disease is the first pandemic caused by the coronavirus. COVID-19 is the fifth pandemic, following 1918 influenza virus (H1N1), 1957 influenza virus (H2N2), 1968 influenza virus (H3N2), and 2009 Pandemic flu (H1N1), that resulted in the human deaths of around 50 million, 1.5 million, 1 million, and 300 000, respectively (Liu et al., 2020). WHO indicated that this outbreak is not just a public health crisis, but it is a crisis that will touch every sector.

Therefore, every sector and every individual should be involved in this struggle (WHO, 2020c). As of 5 August 2020, the number of cases per 1 million population is given for different regions as follows: 9 613.03 in Americas, 3 694.43 in Europe, 1 136.41 in SouthEast Asia, 2 167.25 in Eastern Mediterranean, 742.75 in Africa, and 176.36 in Western Pacific region. The global total of confirmed cases has reached to 17 528. 223 per 1 million population and 687.64 per 1 million population for corresponding deaths (WHO, 2020b).

The ‘Strategic preparedness and response plan’ by WHO includes the health measures that all countries had to prepare for and respond to this pandemic. This plan covers what we have learned about the virus so far and aims to transform this information into strategic action that can guide all national and international partners while developing national and regional operational plans. The implementation of these measures caused the closure of workplaces and educational institutions, and temporary restrictions in travels and social meetings. Flexible working from home and online meetings have become standard practices nowadays. However, people who work in the food industry do not have work from home option hence they need to keep their typical office routines (Nicola et al., 2020; FAO and WHO, 2020). As a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis, response plans for food workers were developed to provide guidance for continuity of operations in the food processing facilities and manage coronavirus in the food industry. Especially meat and poultry processing industries can be defined as the critical infrastructure in food and agriculture.

The plan includes a hierarchy of control requirements for cleaning, sanitation, disinfection of facilities, screening, and monitoring of workers for COVID-19, managing the sick employees and education programs for workers and supervisors to prevent the spread of coronavirus (CDC, 2020b). Every industry in the world expects to see how the COVID-19 outbreak will affect the manufacturing industry, and the food industry is no different from other industries. However, the difference in the food industry from other industries is to produce products that are essential for daily life. Everybody knows that if one factory closes, a certain number of people who works at these factories have the potential to starve, but if processors and distributors are infected, all people are at risk (Staniforth, 2020).

In addition, the food industry is a very important sector in regard to economy. However, food sector faces different sets of challenges compared with other sectors that are not critical for daily life such as tourism and aviation during a pandemic. Pandemic might lead to a US$113 billion loss in aviation and US$80 billion in tourism sector (IATA, 2020; UNTWO, 2020). Some food companies face various challenges due to a drop in income, whereas others are working hard to meet the growing demand of retailers.

To summarize, four major issues have been raised in the food industry and the food supply chain during the COVID-19 outbreak. Firstly, people tend to have follow a healthy diet for protecting themselves and their immune systems (Rodríguez-Pérez et al., 2020). Therefore, the demand for the functional foods which contain bioactive ingredients increased. Secondly, food safety has gained more attention to prevent the transmission of coronavirus among producers, retailers, and consumers. Thirdly, food security concerns have arisen because of the people on lockdown restrictions. Lastly, food sustainability problems have emerged in the era of pandemic (Galanakis, 2020).

In the light of recent challenges in food supply chain, there is now considerable concern about the food supply chain. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to provide information about the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak in the food supply chain in Gombe State, Nigeria and to summarize the measures taken to minimize these effects. Formal and informal sources were used to obtain information about the food supply chain during COVID-19 outbreak.

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