COVID-19 Crises & Implications to Agri-Food Sector

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2023) | Viewed by 59080

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Human food supply is strongly dependent on agronomy sciences and agriculture. Due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis and the global lockdown measures (border closure, social restrictions/distancing, limited access to raw materials and agrochemicals, labour shortages), unprecedented disruptions in agri-food systems as well as food safety and security have occurred. The COVID-19 pandemic has strongly impacted even some of the most resilient agri-food sub-sectors (e.g., free-range farming, organic agriculture), in both self-sufficient and strongly import-dependent economies. Such disturbances in the agri-food market and challenges to the demand–supply system have never been recorded before and are still persisting, as no effective and holistic solutions have been found so far. Many fresh and low-processed agri-foodstuffs have a short shelf-life or require special post-harvest storage and transport conditions, which additionally elevates the production costs and weakens agriculture competitiveness with respect to its productivity before the pandemic. Many agricultural sectors have failed to change and adapt to the new situation caused by the pandemic, recording huge losses. However, some agricultural businesses were able to react, demonstrating strong resilience and flexibility, by applying ICT and smart innovative solutions (e-farm-to-market-to-table food supply, e-gardening, e-advisory services) and by diversifying their production modalities and offer (supported aggregations, development and promotion of locally based models).

For this Special Issue, manuscripts presenting novel research, reviews based on big-data (meta)-analyses, research opinions, and short communications—ranging from specific case studies to works at regional, (inter)national, and global level—that will contribute to the elucidation and better management of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and its implications for agriculture, are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Gabrijel Ondrasek
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Lockdown
  • COVID-19
  • Agriculture
  • Agroecosystems
  • Food production
  • Organic farming
  • Labor shortage
  • Meta analyses
  • Big data analyses
  • Farm-to-table
  • E-market
  • Crisis agro-management
  • E-gardening
  • Agrochemicals
  • Food security
  • Food safety
  • Smart agriculture
  • ICT
  • Innovations
  • Precision agriculture
  • IoT

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

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13 pages, 886 KiB  
Article
Modeling and Forecasting of Rice Prices in India during the COVID-19 Lockdown Using Machine Learning Approaches
by Santosha Rathod, Gayatri Chitikela, Nirmala Bandumula, Gabrijel Ondrasek, Sundaram Ravichandran and Raman Meenakshi Sundaram
Agronomy 2022, 12(9), 2133; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12092133 - 08 Sep 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2431
Abstract
Via national lockdowns, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the production and distribution of foodstuffs worldwide, including rice (Oryza sativa L.) production, affecting the prices in India’s agroecosystems and markets. The present study was performed to assess the impact of the COVID-19 national lockdown [...] Read more.
Via national lockdowns, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the production and distribution of foodstuffs worldwide, including rice (Oryza sativa L.) production, affecting the prices in India’s agroecosystems and markets. The present study was performed to assess the impact of the COVID-19 national lockdown on rice prices in India, and to develop statistical machine learning models to forecast price changes under similar crisis scenarios. To estimate the rice prices under COVID-19, the general time series models, such as the autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model, the artificial neural network (ANN) model, and the extreme learning machine (ELM) model, were applied. The results obtained using the ARIMA intervention model revealed that during the COVID-19 lockdown in India, rice prices increased by INR 0.92/kg. In addition, the ELM intervention model was faster, with less computation time, and provided better results vs other models because it detects the nonlinear pattern in time series data, along with the intervention variable, which was considered an exogenous variable. The use of forecasting models can be a useful tool in supporting decision makers, especially under unpredictable crises. The study results are of great importance for the national agri-food sector, as they can bolster authorities and policymakers in planning and designing more sustainable interventions in the food market during (inter)national crisis situations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Crises & Implications to Agri-Food Sector)
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13 pages, 716 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Firms’ Financial Performance and Cash Holding: New Evidence from China’s Agri-food Sector
by Jian Xu and Zhenji Jin
Agronomy 2022, 12(8), 1951; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12081951 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3260
Abstract
The objective of this paper is to investigate the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the financial performance and cash holdings of Chinese agri-food companies. We also examine whether or not company ownership, the affected areas, and leverage level affect this relationship. [...] Read more.
The objective of this paper is to investigate the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the financial performance and cash holdings of Chinese agri-food companies. We also examine whether or not company ownership, the affected areas, and leverage level affect this relationship. The empirical results show that the COVID-19 outbreak has had no significant impact on financial performance and the cash-holding level of agri-food companies. In addition, the financial performance of state-owned companies is enhanced during such a crisis, whereas COVID-19 reduced the financial performance and cash-holding level of privately owned companies. In middle- and high-risk areas, the pandemic has had a negative impact on financial performance, while it has had a positive impact on financial performance in low-risk areas. The negative impact of COVID-19 on cash holding is greater in highly leveraged companies than it has been in low-leveraged companies. This paper may provide some new insights for managers to ensure smooth operation and improve firms’ performance in order to overcome this crisis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Crises & Implications to Agri-Food Sector)
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14 pages, 321 KiB  
Article
Short-Term Effects of the COVID-19 Outbreak on Consumer Perceptions of Local Food Consumption and the Local Agri-Food Sector in Austria
by Laura Maria Wallnoefer and Petra Riefler
Agronomy 2022, 12(8), 1940; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12081940 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1564
Abstract
Disruptions in agri-food systems caused by crises, such as the COVID-19-pandemic, reveal the vulnerability of global food supply chains. Such crises might consequently impact consumer perceptions about the relevance of local food production and consumption. In this light, this study aims to (i) [...] Read more.
Disruptions in agri-food systems caused by crises, such as the COVID-19-pandemic, reveal the vulnerability of global food supply chains. Such crises might consequently impact consumer perceptions about the relevance of local food production and consumption. In this light, this study aims to (i) identify whether the COVID-19 outbreak led to short-term changes in perceptions about local food consumption and (ii) capture how the role of local agri-food systems is perceived in times of crisis. For the first purpose, this study analyzes two waves of survey data collected from an Austrian sample (n = 351) to compare pre-and post-COVID-19 levels of consumer values, beliefs, and attitudes towards local food. For the second purpose, the paper assesses consumer perceptions about the reliability and resilience of the local agri-food sector in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The results reveal that while consumer perceptions driving local food consumption at an early phase of the pandemic remained stable at large, the perceived relevance of the local agri-food sector attenuated. Consumers showed strong beliefs in the local agriculture as a reliable and trustworthy partner during the pandemic guaranteeing food supply security. Based on these findings, the paper discusses how these insights into consumer perceptions in response to macro-level disruptions might help to better understand short-term demand-side implications of other forms of external crises affecting local food production and supply. Finally, the paper provides recommendations for practitioners and avenues for future research to determine implications from a long-term perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Crises & Implications to Agri-Food Sector)
18 pages, 2190 KiB  
Article
Vulnerabilities, Environmental Threats, and Recursive Crises under COVID-19: Dilemmas for Beekeeper-Farmers in Yucatan, Mexico
by Elena Lazos-Chavero, Tlacaelel Rivera-Núñez, Ilse Ruiz-Mercado and Minneth Medina-García
Agronomy 2022, 12(8), 1839; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12081839 - 03 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1444
Abstract
In this article we connect theoretically the concepts of structural vulnerabilities, recursive crises, and disasters through the linking-up of the COVID-19 pandemic with extreme hydrometeorological events in three municipalities in southern Yucatan, Mexico. The main research goal was to show the effects in [...] Read more.
In this article we connect theoretically the concepts of structural vulnerabilities, recursive crises, and disasters through the linking-up of the COVID-19 pandemic with extreme hydrometeorological events in three municipalities in southern Yucatan, Mexico. The main research goal was to show the effects in productive and commercial systems in beekeeper and farmer households and their coping strategies to highlight the inter-relationships between historical vulnerabilities, crises, and disasters. The methodological approach included ethnographic fieldwork, 101 semi-structured interviews, and five focal groups. In the results, we reconstruct the agro-productive and commercial vulnerabilities built up since 1960 and contextualize the health and hydrometeorological crisis to show how some 87% of households suffered severe consequences to their incomes. The prices of main products (maize, fruit, honey) reached historically low levels as a result of conditions within local markets during the crisis. Half of the households surveyed had to make use of savings and more than 60% received no support from government or from development agencies. We conclude by pointing out the need for accompanying the design and implementation of community mitigation plans, which should take as a starting point the recovery of knowledge and local organization in order to demand from government co-managed, preventive programs, and capacities that would enable communities to confront increasing negative consequences in situations of global climate change and market instabilities in local peasant contexts. Our study aims to reach policy-makers, social organizations, and communities in order to highlight the importance of developing joint capabilities to respond to growing environmental, economic, and health vulnerabilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Crises & Implications to Agri-Food Sector)
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20 pages, 1015 KiB  
Article
COVID-19 and the Locavores: Investigating the Drivers of US Consumer Preferences for Apples
by Meike Rombach, David L. Dean, Tim Baird and Jacob Kambuta
Agronomy 2022, 12(7), 1691; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12071691 - 16 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1645
Abstract
This study provides insights and best-practice recommendations for marketing managers in the US food retail sector and the horticultural industry. An online survey distributed via a crowdsourcing platform in 2021 aimed to explore the factors that explained the intentions of US consumers to [...] Read more.
This study provides insights and best-practice recommendations for marketing managers in the US food retail sector and the horticultural industry. An online survey distributed via a crowdsourcing platform in 2021 aimed to explore the factors that explained the intentions of US consumers to purchase locally grown apples. The Theory of Planned Behavior was used as a conceptual framework to shape the proposed model. The results emphasize the importance of behavioral, normative and control beliefs as important factors towards attitudes. Subjective norms and perceived behavioral control were also found to be key drivers in understanding behavioral intention. All concepts, with the exception of perceived behavioral control, were found to be significant behavioral predictors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Crises & Implications to Agri-Food Sector)
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19 pages, 323 KiB  
Article
Being a Farmer in Austria during COVID-19—A Qualitative Study on Challenges and Opportunities
by Oliver Meixner, Henriette Elisabeth Quehl, Siegfried Pöchtrager and Rainer Haas
Agronomy 2022, 12(5), 1240; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12051240 - 23 May 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3140
Abstract
To assess the effects of COVID-19 on Austrian farmers, a qualitative study design including computer-aided, qualitative content analysis was applied. Interviews with 34 Austrian farmers covering a broad spectrum of the sector were conducted to identify the impacts, obstacles, and opportunities during the [...] Read more.
To assess the effects of COVID-19 on Austrian farmers, a qualitative study design including computer-aided, qualitative content analysis was applied. Interviews with 34 Austrian farmers covering a broad spectrum of the sector were conducted to identify the impacts, obstacles, and opportunities during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results show that the diverse and heterogeneous impacts of COVID-19 on farms created significant challenges but also opportunities. Negative impacts included sales difficulties due to the closure of the hospitality industry and farmers markets, the ban on non-agricultural activities, the disrupted availability of workers and agricultural inputs, and the related additional workload. Mitigation of negative effects through political measures and interest groups showed limited effectiveness. Nevertheless, the functionality of the agricultural sector was maintained. During the initial phase of the pandemic, direct impacts on agricultural production were minimal and adjustments were adequate. There were also positive effects on parts of the agricultural sector, such as a boost in direct sales, increased demand in the food retail sector, and improved public perception of agriculture and farmers. Long-term changes in farms have been triggered and/or reinforced by the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly driven by digitization, investments in product and/or process innovations, and adjustments concerning marketing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Crises & Implications to Agri-Food Sector)
24 pages, 2208 KiB  
Article
Household Attitudes and Behavior towards the Food Waste Generation before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Romania
by Iulia C. Muresan, Rezhen Harun, Ileana Andreica, Gabriela O. Chiciudean, Eniko Kovacs, Camelia F. Oroian, Anca Monica Brata and Diana E. Dumitras
Agronomy 2022, 12(3), 746; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12030746 - 21 Mar 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3853
Abstract
Food waste represents an important aspect with social, economic, and environmental implications. As previous studies underlined, the COVID-19 pandemic led to changes in the food consumption patterns among consumers. The aim of the study was to investigate the main changes in household food [...] Read more.
Food waste represents an important aspect with social, economic, and environmental implications. As previous studies underlined, the COVID-19 pandemic led to changes in the food consumption patterns among consumers. The aim of the study was to investigate the main changes in household food waste management during the COVID-19 pandemic in Romania compared with the period before the COVID-19 pandemic. Factors affecting food waste were also analyzed. Data were collected among Romanian households using an online administrated questionnaire. The 784 usable questionnaires were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Cluster analysis. Consumers’ food shopping habits have become more sustainable during the pandemic, with a positive impact on waste management. The amount of the food losses decreased, people found ways to valorize the food scraps. The Cluster analysis of 25 food waste behavior factors lead to a 3 clusters solution: “wasters” (n = 264), “careless consumers” (n = 227), “careful consumers” (n = 359). While the “wasters” group was represented by consumers who chose to plan the shopping and the menu for the next period, were represented mainly by males with a lower level of education, the “careless consumers” did not choose to plan before going shopping, they discharge lower quantities of food compared with the first group. The “careful consumers” proved to be the most organized one, being preoccupied about the menu planning and reuse of leftovers. People became more conscious about their shopping habits; however, not all groups greatly improved their habits. The results indicate that more actions are needed to increase the awareness at the household level regarding food waste management and sustainable consumption during changing times. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Crises & Implications to Agri-Food Sector)
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19 pages, 33794 KiB  
Article
Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic on Agricultural Food Production among Smallholder Farmers in Northern Drakensberg Areas of Bergville, South Africa
by Bonginkosi E. Mthembu, Xolile Mkhize and Georgina D. Arthur
Agronomy 2022, 12(2), 531; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12020531 - 21 Feb 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 9093
Abstract
COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected social and economic activities in the agriculture systems. The extent of pandemic disruptions on agriculture food production systems is lamentably scanty in rural areas. A survey was carried out in the Northern Drakensberg areas of Bergville, and it [...] Read more.
COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected social and economic activities in the agriculture systems. The extent of pandemic disruptions on agriculture food production systems is lamentably scanty in rural areas. A survey was carried out in the Northern Drakensberg areas of Bergville, and it assessed the impact of COVID-19 on agricultural food production in smallholder farming systems comprising crop-livestock systems. A survey was conducted using structured questionnaires that measured the impact of COVID-19 within farming operations and average crop yield trends pre-COVID-19 and during COVID-19. Most farmers (77.1 to 92.4%) reported having limitations in accessing agricultural inputs of seeds, fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results indicated a continuous decrease in yields of maize, dry beans, and soybeans across two years of cropping seasons during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study demonstrated that COVID-19 lockdowns accompanied by movement restrictions negatively impacted food production of staple crops (maize, dry beans, soybeans) despite suitable rains received during COVID-19 production periods. COVID-19 policies and legislations sensitive to the plight of poor rural communities are necessary as these communities are more reliant on local agricultural food production for their livelihoods and income. Strong co-operations must be established among input suppliers, smallholder farmers associations, extension services, and local retailers to assist smallholders to obtain inputs at local retailers even during COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Crises & Implications to Agri-Food Sector)
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9 pages, 618 KiB  
Article
Impact of COVID-19 on the Agriculture Sector: Survey Analysis of Farmer Responses from Kerala and Tamil Nadu States in India
by Estone Jiji Habanyati, Sivaraj Paramasivam, Parthasarathy Seethapathy, Aravind Jayaraman, Rahul Kedanhoth, Pozhamkandath Karthiayani Viswanathan and Sudheesh Manalil
Agronomy 2022, 12(2), 503; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12020503 - 17 Feb 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 5482
Abstract
The global COVID-19 pandemic has hit the agriculture sector hard around the world. A study was conducted to assess the impact of the pandemic on cropping patterns, crop management, usage of chemical inputs and their organic alternatives, harvesting, and marketing avenues through a [...] Read more.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has hit the agriculture sector hard around the world. A study was conducted to assess the impact of the pandemic on cropping patterns, crop management, usage of chemical inputs and their organic alternatives, harvesting, and marketing avenues through a survey approach in the two states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in India. A total of 250 farmers participated in the study, the data was analyzed by Chi-square test and Kruskal–Wallis test. The assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on some aspects was undertaken by dividing the study period into three phases. Though a smaller number of people were infected with COVID-19 in the initial phase of the pandemic compared to the later phases, farm operations and the procurement of inputs were significantly affected at this phase as there was a sudden disruption in transportation due to COVID-19-induced movement restrictions. During the entire study period, commodities such as rice, bananas, vegetables, coconuts, and flowers suffered maximum crop loss compared to pulses, groundnuts, cotton, and rubber. Among fertilizers, the maximum shortage was observed for chemical fertilizers (46%) and biofertilizers (30%) compared to cow dung (18%) and poultry manure (6%), indicating that farmers tended to use more local materials that could be easily procured and accessed compared to shop-based inputs. A rise in the cost of cultivation, scarcity of farm workforce, and difficulty in hiring farm machinery all have contributed to the loss of profit during the pandemic period. As a response to COVID-19, growers initiated post-harvest processing of commodities, and cropping systems remained the same during the period. The paper also discusses some remedial measures to be adopted by households in the future, to minimize the impacts of such pandemics in the agrarian sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Crises & Implications to Agri-Food Sector)
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16 pages, 2073 KiB  
Article
Artificial-Intelligence-Based Time-Series Intervention Models to Assess the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Tomato Supply and Prices in Hyderabad, India
by Gayathri Chitikela, Meena Admala, Vijaya Kumari Ramalingareddy, Nirmala Bandumula, Gabrijel Ondrasek, Raman Meenakshi Sundaram and Santosha Rathod
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1878; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091878 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3044
Abstract
This study’s objective was to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tomato supply and prices in Gudimalkapur market in Hyderabad, India. The lockdown imposed by the government of India from 25 March 2020 to 30 June 2020 particularly affected the supply [...] Read more.
This study’s objective was to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tomato supply and prices in Gudimalkapur market in Hyderabad, India. The lockdown imposed by the government of India from 25 March 2020 to 30 June 2020 particularly affected the supply chain of perishable agricultural products, including tomatoes as one of the major vegetable crops in the study area. The classical time series models such as autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) intervention models and artificial intelligence (AI)-based time-series models namely support vector regression (SVR) intervention and artificial neural network (ANN) intervention models were used to predict tomato supplies and prices in the studied market. The modelling results show that the pandemic had a negative impact on supply and a positive impact on tomato prices. Moreover, the ANN intervention model outperformed the other models in both the training and test data sets. The superior performance of the ANN intervention model could be due to its ability to account for the nonlinear and complex nature of the data with exogenous intervention variable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Crises & Implications to Agri-Food Sector)
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17 pages, 653 KiB  
Article
COVID-19 Effects and Resilience of Vegetable Farmers in North-Western Nigeria
by Rosaine N. Yegbemey, Christelle M. Komlan Ahihou, Ifeoluwa Olorunnipa, Marwan Benali, Victor Afari-Sefa and Pepijn Schreinemachers
Agronomy 2021, 11(9), 1808; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11091808 - 09 Sep 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3967
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has particularly affected the supply of perishable foods such as vegetables, which could adversely affect food and nutrition security. Here, we study the mechanisms by which COVID-19 has affected vegetable production and the coping strategies adopted by smallholder farmers. We [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has particularly affected the supply of perishable foods such as vegetables, which could adversely affect food and nutrition security. Here, we study the mechanisms by which COVID-19 has affected vegetable production and the coping strategies adopted by smallholder farmers. We use cross-sectional data collected through individual interviews on a random sample of 521 vegetable producers in north-western Nigeria. The perceptions of respondents, measured on a 5-point Likert scale (from 1—not affected, to 5—severely affected), shows that COVID-19 had an average effect of 3.07 (±1.23) on vegetable production. Farmers also reported challenges in accessing farm inputs and storing or selling fresh vegetable produced. In response, farmers reduced market-oriented vegetable production, produced more vegetables for own consumption, added value through own home processing and storage, explored new markets, and accepted lower farmgate selling prices. A multivariate probit regression shows that socio-economic factors such as age, household size, marital status, challenges in accessing inputs, and perceptions of the effects of COVID-19 influenced farmers’ decisions to adopt particular coping strategies. To sustain vegetable supplies, policy makers should consider investing more in market-oriented strategies such as vegetable processing and storage, which individual farmers may not be able to afford due to high costs, lack of information and required knowledge on good agronomic practices, postharvest handling, storage and market. Public extension services can contribute to help farmers to adapt better. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Crises & Implications to Agri-Food Sector)
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11 pages, 479 KiB  
Article
Purchasing Bakery Goods during COVID-19: A Mind Genomics Cartography of Hungarian Consumers
by Barbara Biró and Attila Gere
Agronomy 2021, 11(8), 1645; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11081645 - 18 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2384
Abstract
At both global and national levels, COVID-19 caused huge changes both in politics and economics, including the agricultural sector and the food industry, from producers, manufacturers, and traders to consumers. Since March 2020, many restrictions and protective measures were introduced worldwide, which only [...] Read more.
At both global and national levels, COVID-19 caused huge changes both in politics and economics, including the agricultural sector and the food industry, from producers, manufacturers, and traders to consumers. Since March 2020, many restrictions and protective measures were introduced worldwide, which only began to be relaxed in the last weeks of spring 2021 as the number of people vaccinated against the coronavirus increased in Hungary. The aim of this study was to investigate the attitudes of Hungarian consumers toward food purchases during the COVID-19 pandemic, in terms of safety. The research was based on the purchase of bakery products, which are basic food products and are most often found in an unpackaged form in Hungarian stores. The BimiLeap® study, a revolutionary tool for uncovering people’s minds, was completed by 125 participants, gathered by a snowballing technique. There were no significant differences among consumers’ attitudes based on the traditional socio-demographic descriptors; however, the mindset-based classification was able to differentiate significantly. The three identified mindsets covered people who themselves consider bakery products, the purchase method, and being in the store as the highest risk of a potential COVID infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Crises & Implications to Agri-Food Sector)
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14 pages, 544 KiB  
Article
Covid-19 Pandemic and Food Waste: An Empirical Analysis
by Federica Di Marcantonio, Edward Kyei Twum and Carlo Russo
Agronomy 2021, 11(6), 1063; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11061063 - 25 May 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3682
Abstract
This paper investigates the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on food waste using an original dataset from 176 agrifood business operators in the European Union (EU). Our objective is to assess whether and why the pandemic crisis affected food waste level. Unlike previous studies [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on food waste using an original dataset from 176 agrifood business operators in the European Union (EU). Our objective is to assess whether and why the pandemic crisis affected food waste level. Unlike previous studies that addressed the issue at a consumer level, our research focuses on pre-consumption waste covering stages of the agrifood supply chain from input suppliers to retailers. Considering the importance of waste reduction for the sustainability of food production, the study provides an insight into the ability of the agrifood supply chain to cope with a major shock and its resilience. A multinomial logit regression model is used to estimate the effect of Covid-19, testing whether the ability to innovate, the role in the supply chain, the magnitude of the shock and policy support were drivers of changes in food waste. We find that three main factors affect the change in a firm’s food-waste level during the Covid-19 pandemic: The magnitude of the disruption of the sale channel, the firms’ ability to adapt the business model to the new pandemic environment, and the adoption of public policies mitigating the lockdown effects. The first driver was associated with an increase in food waste, while the others were associated with a decrease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Crises & Implications to Agri-Food Sector)
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30 pages, 867 KiB  
Article
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Agri-Food Companies in the Region of Extremadura (Spain)
by Beatriz Corchuelo Martínez-Azúa, Pedro Eugenio López-Salazar and Celia Sama-Berrocal
Agronomy 2021, 11(5), 971; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11050971 - 13 May 2021
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 5826
Abstract
The coronavirus pandemic is having an economic impact, previously non-existent, on the world economy. The objective of this study is to analyze the impact of COVID-19 on agri-food companies in the region of Extremadura (Spain). A multiple-case study based on in-depth interviews was [...] Read more.
The coronavirus pandemic is having an economic impact, previously non-existent, on the world economy. The objective of this study is to analyze the impact of COVID-19 on agri-food companies in the region of Extremadura (Spain). A multiple-case study based on in-depth interviews was carried out in the period February 2020–January 2021. The results reveal the existence of negative and positive impacts, both financial (decrease in turnover; decrease/displacement in the demand for products; budget reduction in R&D projects; increase in certain product sales) and operational (difficulty in marketing activities, lack of staff, stoppage in company activity, and supply problems), depending, principally, on the nature of the products, the changes generated in consumer behavior, and mobility problems. Likewise, changes were observed in processes (search of clients in other markets, increased use of technology in communication and marketing activities, and development of new products) and procedures (reorganization of personnel activities, implementation of new health protocols) in companies to overcome the obstacles imposed by the new situation. In conclusion, the change in surrounding conditions, and the characteristics of the spread of the pandemic, have impacted on the strategies, behavior, processes, dynamics and results of organizations regardless of their size and the nature of their work product or service. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Crises & Implications to Agri-Food Sector)
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Review

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15 pages, 906 KiB  
Review
Understanding Food Security Behaviors during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Thailand: A Review
by Sukanya Sereenonchai and Noppol Arunrat
Agronomy 2021, 11(3), 497; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11030497 - 06 Mar 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 5487
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted worldwide food security including in Thailand. This review aims to understand people’s behaviors with regard to promoting food security during the COVID-19 pandemic by covering three main cases at a community level: the food bank, the food exchange, [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted worldwide food security including in Thailand. This review aims to understand people’s behaviors with regard to promoting food security during the COVID-19 pandemic by covering three main cases at a community level: the food bank, the food exchange, and the food pantry. A systematic review of news content analysis and in-depth interviews were employed for data collection. Based on integrated behavioral models of motivation–opportunity–ability (MOA), the theory of planned behavior (TPB), and value–belief–norm (VBN), key results indicated that altruistic values including beliefs in opinion leaders and the benefits from food security behaviors were influences on people’s practices. The attitude toward food as a crucial factor for living, the influence of family members and neighborhoods, and the perception of what constituted enough food led people’s behavioral intentions with regard to food security. The intrapersonal communication of opinion leaders was an important initial step linking to people’s understanding of others. The most frequent qualities of opinion leaders were: having a determination to help, thinking of the benefits of local people, and believing in community capacity. Self-reliance and procedural knowledge of how to behave were key messages, while personal media, local broadcasting towers, and social media were mainly employed to distribute these messages. Two-way and networking communication should be strengthened to promote sustainable food security during the crisis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 Crises & Implications to Agri-Food Sector)
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