COVID-19’s Impact on the International Political Economy of Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa

Gamel Abdul-Nasser Salifu


International political economy of food security has become a central theme in the development narrative, providing a lens through which contemporary challenges of development are intergrated, rationalized and synthetized for sustainable and equitable development. The paper explores the prominent role of food security in development narratives, but in broader conceptions of state and its social contracts. From the analysis of the spatio-temporal evolutions of households’ strategies for coping wth food insecurity and hunger, this paper clearly argues that food security defined as “access to enough preferred food” is fundamentally political. This study offers a set of different approaches to understanding the dynamics of food politics, grounded in broader theorectical traditions of power politics in food governance. The approaches are evaluated through an identification and analysis of a set of problematiques in food security governance gleaned from an overview of the major literature of note in food security and agricultural economics. The micropolitics of food that work in different constellations of ethnic power to perpetuate food insecurity are well outlined. The paper build upon this tensions by further questioning the regimes of power and how dominant political interests exercise themselves in corporate power structures, dismantling socially-oriented state approaches for enhancing food security. The relevance of intergrating the emerging dimensions of food politics and power, concerned with control of resources and opportunities for food production are also highlighted. With the politics of power not only concerned with material domination but directing rural people’s beliefs, values, behaviours and practices. As well as elaborating on the dorminant issues of food politics that have co-opted to increase food insecurity, the paper outlines alternative visions that are diverse and even incompatible on epistemological grounds. In so doing, the paper argues for triangulation of new ideas to shine the light from different angles to achieve sustainable and equitable food security in the Covid-19 era of food crises and deprivation. In this vein, the review, examines the impact of the mobility restraints set in 2020 by local governments to stem the spread of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) on food security regimes in Africa, with particular emphasis on how the move has disrupted economies worldwide, disproportionately affecting livelihoods already threatened by poverty and hunger. Whilst the sections heretofore articulate the synergies between food and politics, so much is shared that this review reflects a richer picture of the political economy of food security on the international front.

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Research in World Economy
ISSN 1923-3981(Print)ISSN 1923-399X(Online)


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