The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare several truths about many aspects of our lives: the critical importance of public health, the consequences of social and racial inequities, and even how wildlife trafficking plays a role in our health and wellbeing, to name just a few.
One emerging truth that has not been getting as much attention during this crisis is that our agricultural market system – both domestically and globally – can actually be a driver of resilience, buffering us from the ripple effects of shocks and stresses such as COVID.
In the international development world, a strong, inclusive agricultural market system has traditionally implied that the system would be able to persevere through shocks and even adapt so that the market continues to provide people with goods, services, sales opportunities, and employment. However, we’re now able to watch in real time how accurate that assumption has been, and how we can help market actors – particularly businesses – learn from this crisis to become more resilient in the future.
On the heels of our recent webinar on the topic, we asked three experts to weigh in on how market systems can drive resilience in the face of COVID and other shocks.