COVID-19 and the response of Ethiopian rural food systems

As in other parts of Africa, especially marginalized population groups in Ethiopia were hit hard by COVID-19 and the disruptions caused by measures to curb the pandemic. This had immediate effects on livelihoods, agricultural production, and market relations, culminating in food system changes at local as well as national scales. These changes are highly heterogeneous, little is known so far about their outcomes. To address these research gaps, the project examines the relationship between regional food systems in terms of vulnerabilities, social inequalities, and structural disadvantage within communities and households; explores decision-making processes and information flows under conditions of crisis and uncertainty; and examines local responses, with particular attention to innovation and the search for alternatives, such as in marketing, cropping patterns, marketing, labor organization, and other practices.
Together with local partners in Ethiopia, the project team is investigating the impact of the crisis on food systems at different levels. Particular attention is paid to agricultural value chains, information flows and knowledge, social capital and community-specific social networks, changing workloads and mobility, and analysis of the institutional context of the crisis response with regard to food systems. Moreover, the project design understands gender and intersectional relations as a cross-cutting issue in households, communities, and regional dynamics, and emphasizes an exploration of the complexity and heterogeneity of communities to identify overlooked and hidden vulnerabilities and inequalities, as well as social innovation capacities.

Covid 19.jpg
© AG Müller-Mahn/GIUB
ADebarry_urban agriculture and precarity in Addis.jpg
© Annapia Debarry/GIUB
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© Annapia Debarry/GIUB
ADebarry_urban agriculture Addis.jpg
© Annapia Debarry/GIUB


Avatar Müller-Mahn

Prof. Dr. Detlef Müller-Mahn

Avatar Debarry

Annapia Debarry

RG Müller-Mahn

Avatar Gebreyes

Dr. Million Gebreyes

Former Staff RG Müller-Mahn

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