WEBINAR: Covid 19: Learning to Build Resilience for Africa’s small scale farmers, food systems and sovereignty

  • 04th June 2020
  • by secretary

4 June 2020. The COVID-19 has brought an opportunity to learn and revisit how Africa can build strong and resilient African food systems as well as safeguard food security and sovereignty.

The webinar brought an expert panel from across policymakers, small-scale farmers, Civil society and rights advocates to:

Recording forthcoming

  • Analyze the impact of COVID-19 on African small scale farmers and food systems and the development agenda for agriculture
  • Learn from experiences of small scale farmers, across the continent and their vision for strengthening resilience to shocks
  • Explore strategies that Governments, small scale farmers and other stakeholders can use to ensure that food systems build the resilience needed to weather the current and future risks and shocks.

The dialogue will also table collective responses and solutions that African food systems must put in place to not only survive but transform for the benefit of African food security and sovereignty.


The impacts of COVID-19 to small-scale farmers in the region unprecedented socially, economically and culturally. Majority smallholder farmers in rural areas are largely resilient in short term, however, there are emerging negative impacts on farming communities due to lockdowns and the effect of the pandemic itself.

Farmer organizations in the SADC region are taking initiatives to debate the situation and put in place actionable strategies to mitigate the negative impacts of COVID-19 on small scale farmers especially women, as well as on food security and food sovereignty

Smallholder farmers and NGOs in the region consolidated ideas and issues emerging from these dialogues and present to regional governments to put in place mechanisms to ease the plight of the pandemic to poor rural Smallholder farmers.

  • Moderator: Joe Mzinga, ESAFF
  • What have we learned from the East Africa webinarHakim Baliraine – Farmer, Chairperson ESAFF/ ESAFF Uganda
  • SADC Response to mitigate the impact on smallholder farmers, to ensure Food Security and Food SovereigntyMr. Clement Kalonga – SADC- Botswana
  • SADC ability to respond collectively on disasters like COVID19 – Mr. Glenn FarredSADC CNGO Director
  • OXFAM Response to COVID-19 in ESA, Kiduwashe Chirigo – OXFAM – Johannesburg
  • Challenges and opportunities brought by COVID – 19 in rural & urban Zimbabwe – ZIMSOFF, Ms. Elizabeth Mpofu, Farmer – Zimbabwe
  • Challenges and opportunities brought by COVID – 19 in rural and urban Malawi MS. Beatrice MakwendaMalawi
  • Gender-related impact of COVID-19 to AfricaDr. Bethule – TrustAfrica – Senegal
  • Philanthropists’ response to COVID-19 Ms. Christa Phiri – Southern Africa Trust