Digging into how African households can dodge the Ukraine price spike crisis

Tschirley, Liverpool-Tasie, and Reardon author new blog at Agrilinks on the Ukraine crisis and African price spikes.

Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy, Research, Capacity and Influence (PRCI) Director and professor David TschirleyDepartment of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics (AFRE) professor Saweda Liverpool-Tasie; and University Distinguished Professor Thomas Reardon recently shared their insights into policy making and food systems on Agrilinks, the online hub for Feed the Future projects, as part of an ongoing series on the effect of the Ukraine war on global food systems.

The Ukraine war, combined with ongoing shocks from the COVID-19 pandemic and climate related crises, has pushed food and crisis response systems to the brink. Now, we are seeing swiftly rising food prices globally, but in places where food security is already fragile, like Sub-Saharan Africa, policy makers can’t afford to make mistakes when it comes to their nations’ food systems.

Tschirley, Liverpool-Tasie, and Reardon lay out three myths surrounding African agri-food systems to shine some light on effective policy implementation and errors that policymakers can avoid.

  • Myth 1: Sub-Saharan Africa largely depends on imports for food.
  • Myth 2: Households in Sub-Saharan Africa can’t shift to eating to different, less expensive foods.
  • Myth 3: Rural households grow most of what they eat and have no need to purchase food.

They warn that poor policy could affect householder’s ability to dodge away from increasingly expensive food staples towards more localized and lower priced options. Tschirley, Liverpool-Tasie, and Reardon go on to suggest a number of straightforward policy priorities that could help—rather than hinder—householder’s ability to maneuver the difficult terrain of food security in the days to come.

Read the full Agrilinks blog

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