Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on farmers- Kenya report (round 3)

The report uncovers the findings of the third round of a dipstick research funded jointly by MSC and SCBF. It shares a detailed analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on farmers, even after the markets reopened and restrictions on movement were eased. The report further provides recommendations for the government, policymakers, and other private agencies to revive the agriculture sector.

Agriculture is the largest employer in the world and could not escape the destructive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The disease and the resultant restrictions have had a severe impact on agricultural activities and ultimately on farmers. People in the agricultural communities have continued to struggle with low revenues and profits that stem from the fall in demand and fluctuations in the price of the products. The increase in the cost of inputs and high operational costs for transport has proven to be a challenge.

Many farmers lack enough cash to pay wages to farm laborers and have consequently laid off several staff members, which has increased the vulnerability of the daily wage laborers. The sector needs appropriate responses at all levels to support the farmers in the aftermath of the crisis. This spurred MSC’s research to assess the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on farmers in Kenya to understand the extent of impact and identify areas that require support in the short, medium, and long term. The report presents the comparison between the status of farmers in September and in December, 2020.

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