PELUM Eswatini in partnership with PELUM Zambia conducted a two-day survey at the Mbabane Urban Garden on the impact of Covid – 19 on food security Systems to local farmers.
The farmers expressed concern that the pandemic had affected them in terms of food production and marketing of produce.
One of the key challenges they noted was that there is no easy access to seedlings in time to start planting and the availability of a market to sell their produce to make ensure household income. This was largely due to the lockdown measures that were implemented which meant that farmer’s products were left in the fields with no customers to purchase.
However, on a positive note, due to this pandemic, there have been a lot more people who have established backyard gardens to ensure they have food at household level and with the unemployment rate on the rise, a lot more have turned to farming as a source of income generation.
Also worth noting is that due to climate change small holder farmers have resorted to focusing more on their traditional seeds which tend to do well in spite of climate change and its effects. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about the need for households to explore options that will ensure food security since employment and income-generating opportunities have dwindled.