2021-07Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/23499
Smallholder Farmers’ Challenges of Coping with COVID-19 Containments: Insights from two food regions in Indonesia
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced governments around the world to impose containment measures to prevent the rapid spread of the corona virus. The Indonesian government implemented “large-scale social restrictions,” which have impacted farming and farmers’ food security. Farmers are both producers and consumers of food and, therefore, have been facing new challenges due to transport restrictions, price spikes for inputs, price drops for their produce, or conditions which aggravated cooperation, such as social distancing. This study aims at analysing the challenges of the containments from a smallholder farmer perspective and examining farmers’ coping potential. A digital survey with 323 farmers has been designed as comparative observational research in Toraja, South Sulawesi, and selected regions of Java. The Bonferroni Multiple Comparison Test was used to test for significance regarding socioeconomic factors and space. A logistic regression model extracted determinants for crisis coping. Results reveal, that female farmers worry more about COVID-19 outbreak compared to men at a significant level. In contrast, male farmers, particularly in Java, are more concerned about social restrictions due to limited mobility. Food price spikes were reported in both regions, with sharp increases for fish, fruits, and vegetables in Java, for staples in Toraja, and for meat and sugar in both regions. Food groups, that trade through agents and brokers or are transported longer distances were affected most due to their complex and long supply chains that were disrupted during the restrictions. In Java, farmers face multiple shocks, of which climate change was reported even more often than the pandemic related shocks. Not being able to help each other on the farm due to social distancing is a significant concern of farmers in Toraja. As a result of food market disturbances, farmers began to grow and eat more vegetables and fruits. In conclusion, food security for farmers slightly decreased due to affordability, and market disruptions already point to long-term income losses. The study team recommends to promote smallholders’ healthy food production, value addition and direct end-consumer linkages to build back better their livelihoods post- COVID-19.
This article was supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Open Access Publication Fund of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.