Socio-economic Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic for Smallholder Farmer Livelihoods in Zimbabwe

Image source: thenewhumanitarian.org

By DAVID MHLANGA AND EMMANUEL NDHLOVU

Summary:

Socio-economic Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic for Smallholder Farmer Livelihoods in Zimbabwe revisits previous viruses such as Ebola to extrapolate the socio-economic implications of COVID-19. Using secondary sources and the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework (SLF) to guide understanding, the article argues that unless measures are put in place to safeguard smallholder activities in Zimbabwe, COVID-19 has the potential to reproduce the same catastrophic implications created by Ebola in West African countries, where peasant food systems where shattered and livelihoods strategies maimed. With a perceptible withdrawal of the government from small-scale farming towards large-scale, capital-intensive operations, smallholders could now be even more vulnerable. The article concludes that social assistance should now be intensified to protect its vulnerable population from the ravages of COVID-19.

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