Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Saturday, April 25, 2020

COVID-19 Probable Impacts on Ethiopian Agriculture

Forsido SF, Mitiku F, Lemessa F, Tolemariam T, Belew D, Berecha G, Garedew W, Bekele Y, Geda F, Eneyew A. COVID-19 Probable Impacts on Ethiopian Agriculture and Potential Mitigation and Adaptation Measures: No Food-No Health-No Life. Jimma, Ethiopia: Jimma University, 2020. 79 pages.

A group of scholars from College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine (JUCAVM) of Jimma University made a synthesis on the probable impacts of COVID-19 on Ethiopian agriculture and potential mitigation/ adaptation measures. This synthesis aims at identifying the major challenges that could be faced by the agricultural sector due to the outbreak of the pandemic and suggesting the coping mechanisms to abate related negative consequences. 

The document entitled “COVID-19 Probable Impacts on Ethiopian Agriculture and Potential Mitigation and Adaptation Measures” is a rapid review of the existing body of literature in the field added with expertise opinion of the team, which is composed of renowned professors of several sub-fields of agriculture at the college. 
The major functions and stages of food supply chain such as production, handling and storage, processing and packaging, distribution and marketing, and consumption were considered as core themes during the extraction and analysis of the information gathered for the synthesis in line of which mitigation strategies are suggested on the basis of the findings obtained.

The key message drawn from the overall assessment is planned to be suggested to relevant government bodies and stakeholders to inform the decision-making process of managing the agricultural sector at this time of pandemic crisis.
  1. COVID-19 and its further expansion could divert attention from the agriculture sector and adversely affect the food and nutrition security of the country by disrupting the food supply chains.
  2. Timely delivery of agricultural inputs with affordable prices are to minimize disruptions of farm input supply 
  3. Agricultural extension support system is to focus on family extension in the short term and Information Technology based extension system in the long term.
  4. Community mobilization and using appropriate post-harvest technologies are suggested as the main intervention mechanisms to minimize quantitative and qualitative post-harvest food loss and waste. 
  5. Processing and packing should be accompanied with the availability of raw materials and labor, enhanced storage and distribution capacity, diversified product and market, and putting in place quality control and monitoring systems. 
  6. Value chain actors mst be supported  to function properly, opening new market places, controlling and monitoring prices. These are important measures to strengthen distribution and marketing. 
  7. Encourage the consumers on the safe consumption of high-value foods, organizing cash for work for low income laborers
  8. Provide food for vulnerable communities


  1. It is timely and interesting for policy makers and the farmers as an early warning system to save from production crises.

  2. It is a good start but needs more technical inputs to enrich the recommendations. What is missed is on how to support house holds to conserve their soils and water so that they can make them available for Meher production and upcoming irrigation seasons. Aggressive support for Small hand dug wells, roof water harvesting and solar pumps are critical points to be considered.

    Availing credit facility for small holder farmers is also another area to be considered.