EFFECT OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC LOCKDOWN ON AGRICULTURAL MIGRANT WORKERS IN SOUTHEASTERN NIGERIA: IMPLICATION FOR FOOD AND NUTRITION SECURITY
Effect of COVID-19 Pandemic
Corona Virus disease (COVID-19) has led to a remarkable loss of human lives across the world that presents an extraordinary challenge with unfathomable social and economic consequences. The deadly disease caused distortions in agricultural systems, as well as a reduction in food production by compromising the agricultural value chain. The fast spreading nature of the disease necessitated a lockdown action that hurt farmers and the agricultural sectors. However, the overall goal of this study was to investigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown on the agricultural migrant workers, as well as its perceived implication on food and nutrition security. Data was collected from a cross-section of randomly selected 200 migrant workers (100 from each State) and analyzed with a bivariate regression model. The study revealed that migrant workers’ income was reduced by 21.84% in Anambra State and 10.88% in Imo State. Their household food expenditure regrettably increased by 19.12% (Anambra State) and 8.46% (Imo State), increase in food expenditure caused an increase in wage charges by 10.88% (Anambra State) and 23.99% (Imo State). Quality of health care accessibility and food affordability was also affected by the lockdown. To the general economy, it brought about the scarcity of labour and disruption in industrial supply of raw materials with a resultant effect on food shortage. The lockdown adversely influenced food and nutrition security by 30.0% (Anambra State) and 63.3% (Imo State). The study, therefore, concludes the economic lockdown as a measure to tackle the spread of Covid-19 is gradually leading to total economic loss to the nation's gross domestic product. The study, therefore, recommends that a less rigid approach should be adopted maybe through a massive sensitization campaign on the disease spread mechanism and preventive measures.
Copyright (c) 2022 Nkiru Theresa Meludu, Chukwujekwu Aloysius Obianefo, Geraldine Ejiaka Nzeribe, Nwabueze Igu, Charles U. Onugu
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