Is distance a barrier to #ClimateActionNow Young Farming Champion Anika Molesworth??
If you think a global pandemic is too overwhelming to do something – Anika says think again!
Anika zoomed from her farm in Broken Hill to Pakistan last night, on the topic “How COVID-19 is impacting agriculture and rural communities, and what needs to be done.”
In Anika’s own words ……
To a large and diverse virtual classroom, we spoke about how COVID-19 impacts on both the lives and livelihoods of farmers and people living in rural communities.
My key points were:
• COVID-19 poses a particularly serious threat to farmers who live remotely and do not have easy access to doctors and healthcare.
• The disease is a vulnerability amplifier for poorer farmers, older farmers, those who have limited labour resources and few market options.
• Disruption to food availability and affordability can lead to reduced food options in some regions and therefore poorer diets and malnutrition.
• Transport restrictions can impede access to markets, and challenges in logistics can be particularly obstructive for fresh food that is highly perishable, which may result in increased food loss and waste.
• Increased costs of farm inputs, like livestock feed, fertiliser, water, contract labour and machinery, may result in lower net returns.
• The reduction in tourism to rural areas has flow-on financial impacts to local farmers and local businesses (e.g. restaurants, shops, hotels).
• Improving hygiene and working conditions for farmers is critical to prevent the spread of disease, as well as improving information channels and access to healthcare.
• Improving the standard of living for farmers through education, income diversification, market access, food transport and storage practices, will help them to become more resilient to future crises.
There was great conversation with lots of excellent questions and comments.
I learnt a lot and thank Humera Hania for inviting me to virtually visit Pakistan to be part of this event.
COVID-19 is a big challenge for farmers, but it also encourages us to share ideas and work together for a better and more resilient future.
Visit Anika’s website to learn more how she is putting her passion project into action
Visit her Youtube Channel here