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Publication | 15 March 2021

Impacts of COVID-19 and Desert Locusts on Smallholder Farmers Food Systems and Value Chains in Kenya - March / August 2020

The study examines the impact of COVID-19, as well as of floods and desert locusts, on smallholder farmers, food processor and dealers in the main crop producing regions in South-western and Central Kenya.

The findings confirm significant drops in income for smallholder farmers. Lack of access to farm inputs, drastic reduction in sales, low market prices for harvested crops, high cost of transport and difficulty in accessing markets are among the major constraints linked to the COVID-19 containment measures and their consequences. These associated with an increase in food price and low yields and/or grain quality reduce both the quantity and quality of food consumed by the smallholders farmers during the pandemic period.

The survey shows as well that the impact of the desert locusts on the investigated five crops was quite low, because the desert locust invasions did not reach the most productive areas.