Despite Covid-19, African food security should be preserved, according to CIRAD

Despite the Covid-19 health crisis, the food security of much of the African continent should be safeguarded. This is essentially the conclusion of the latest study published by CIRAD, France’s leading agricultural research organization. Released on 2 June, the note highlights the relative resilience of coastal West African countries – Côte d’Ivoire, Benin and Togo – to the shock caused by the Covid-19 epidemic. To explain this, CIRAD teams note, firstly, that « these countries produce a lot of cassava, plantain, yam and sorghum, which are crops that are not very intensive and require very little fertilizer and pesticides « . In addition, and with the exception of cocoa cultivation in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, which uses border labour, « agricultural labour has remained available in production areas despite travel restrictions of a few weeks – curfews, blockades of certain towns, » the authors of the study note. All these factors mean that, in the end, « the health crisis will probably have little impact on [food production in these countries] », CIRAD predicts. To be continued…