Impact of Covid-19 Outbreak and Lockdown Measures on Urban Agriculture and Food Security

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Nur Surayya Mohd Saudi , Mohd Nor Yahaya, Muzafar Shah Habibullah , Baharom Abdul Hamid , Muhammad Amirul Azlan , Mohd Haizam Saudi


The recent extension of the Movement Control Order (MCO) may be effective in containing the spread of the pandemic, but it is expected to have a devastating impact on food security. Whilst some countries have been successful in containing the spread of the pandemic, new information on the nature of the virus is constantly being released. Therefore, the overall impact is still unpredictable although lockdown efforts seem to have reduced infection rates substantially. In response to these challenges, this study proposes the implementation of urban farming towards a sustainable economy, establishing food security and creating the ability for the generation of household income for the B40 group. This study considers urban agriculture to be broadly progressive and capable of delivering a suite of environmental, economic, food security and social benefits. In addition, the econometrics modelling that investigate the impact of lockdown measures and COVID-19 on selected vegetables prices indicated not all vegetables react uniformly positive with lockdown measurement. The positive impact of both Covid-19 and lockdowns imply that households will purchase less of these vegetables due to increased price. With less or reduced income and higher prices, peoples will not be able to consume this type of vegetables. Thus, higher food prices deny peoples’ access to food security. Nonetheless, since vegetables are substitutable the population will be able to consume on some other vegetables that are cheaper and affordable with their present income. Lower prices of food, in particular to cheaper vegetables, the population will not be denied food security during the Covid-19 pandemic. The outcomes of the study will provide a new policy that involved the relevant stakeholders on the development of urban agriculture systems as a sustainable means to alleviate poverty and augment national food security. In Malaysia, urban agriculture stimulates the income for B40 group and a local economy by circulating income throughout the region. Without a complicated distribution network, farmers are more connected to their market and able to adapt quickly to demand, and maximizing profit.

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