Virtual Event - The political economy of COVID-19: Impacts on agriculture and food policies

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The economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting pressures on public finances and donor resources are necessitating stark trade-offs among different policy priorities within the agriculture sector and across the food system. In what ways has the pandemic altered the balance of power among urban and rural populations, the state and private sector, and across government ministries?

For example, are social protections and interventions to help heavily hit urban areas complementing or displacing government and donor investments in the agriculture sector? How are governments helping agri-businesses during this period, and which industries are prioritized for financial and other forms of state support? And are responses to COVID-19 fostering improved coherence across the food system to protect incomes, livelihoods, and food security, or leading to increased inter-governmental fractionalization around scarce resources?  

These are some of the considerations that decision makers must now confront. This seminar will delve into these and other questions by examining the political economy dynamics caused by the pandemic in different regions of the world.


  • Samuel Benin, Deputy Division Director, Africa Regional Office, IFPRI
  • Joseph Glauber, Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI
  • Ashok Gulati, Infosys Chair Professor for Agriculture, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER)
  • Astrid Haas, Policy Director, International Growth Centre (IGC)
  • Danielle Resnick, Senior Research Fellow, and Theme Leader, Governance, IFPRI 
  • Johan Swinnen, Director General, IFPRI