Informational deficits constrain the ability of governments, service-providers and funders to make evidence-based decisions about how best to respond to the evolving needs of rural populations, and challenges to food security in developing countries, associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Precision Agriculture for Development (PAD) proposes to conduct a multi-country survey of up to 11,000 smallholder farmers, and a sample of agro-dealers, to assess the impact of the pandemic and mitigation efforts. PAD is uniquely positioned to conduct this work given the organization’s existing operational footprint, experience in designing and administering digital informational services, and research capabilities. PAD will make the findings of the proposed survey publicly available whenever possible to inform decision making, research and policy formulation in the public interest.
- Farmers report a decrease in labor activity, including not being allowed to work on their or others' fields. However, most farmers report being able to purchase the inputs that they need, such as fertilizers, seeds, and pesticides.
- Farmers appear relatively optimistic about agricultural outputs, with regards to expected harvest amounts and selling prices.
- Farmers report several challenges to food security, particularly citing high prices of staple foods.
- Farmers are aware of key symptoms and prevention methods. The main concern cited is overwhelmingly contracting COVID (either self or a household member).