Please share with us – for broader sharing as a publicly available database – information on practical approaches implemented globally in support of safe and functioning food markets during COVID-19
Eighty percent of consumers in low-income countries rely on markets for food supplies. Lockdowns, marketplace closures, and internal and cross-border trade restrictions to contain COVID-19 are affecting the movement of commodities to consumers. There are many practical approaches and innovative measures proposed to allow markets to function, while taking safety precautions into account to limit coronavirus transmission. Some illustrative (not exhaustive) suggestions include:
- Measures to keep physical marketplaces open while maintaining social distance (for e.g., separate days/times for elderly to shop, use of larger/ open spaces, extending trading hours, promoting more deliveries, creating a one-way flow through markets, limiting the number of people in the marketplace at a given time, etc.)
- Health and safety measures such as cleaning and disinfecting the physical market space, temperature reading, proper management and maintenance of trash facilities, proper water supply and sanitation systems and handwashing facilities,
- Restrictions on sales of food items that may increase the risk of future disease outbreaks such as selling of live or dead wild animals in the same market where conventional meats, fruits, vegetables, spices, grain or prepared foods are sold.
The Food Security Group at Michigan State University is developing an inventory of such practical and innovative approaches being implemented in developing countries around the world to support safe and functioning food system and physical marketplaces. If you know of such approaches, we would love to hear from you. You can click on the link below and submit a practical approach you have come across personally at the place where you live or learned about it from your colleagues, friends, family, news media or other avenues.
Our goal is to assemble this inventory of practical measures in a database and make it public on this website. This database will be available as a resource for governments and development partners to use in promoting safe and functioning food system/markets in times of pandemics like COVID-19.