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Title: COVID-19 nationwide lockdown and disruptions in the food environment in Zimbabwe
Authors: Murendo, Conrad
Manyanga, Mark
Mapfungautsi, Rungano
Dube, Thulani
Keywords: COVID-19
food environment
Issue Date: 28-Jul-2021
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Series/Report no.: Cogent Food & Agriculture;7 (1)
Abstract: This study assessed the COVID-19 related disruptions on the food environment in Zimbabwe. Information on disruptions in personal life, changes in food habits, changes at food acquisition points and nutrition information required during the lockdown were collected from 243 adult respondents using online survey. The pandemic disrupted work, social events, food behaviors and habits. Food consumption behaviours changed during the COVID-19 lockdown included panic buying (68%) and stockpiling (60%). The changes in food related habits were associated with a reduction in eating out at restaurants (89%) and ordering fast foods (71%). Temperature checks, physical distancing, hand sanitization and restricted access to food stores when not wearing a mask were the changes made at the point of food acquisition and adhered to by respondents. Respondents required nutrition advice on what type of food to eat (58%), food availability in area (52%), and ways to reduce food wastages (49%). Important policy implications emanate from this study. Retailers should ensure adequate supplies of affordable food commodities. The public and private sector should provide information on nutritious foods, ways to reduce food wastages, and food safety during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. There is scope of using social media as one of the platforms to disseminate such information. Innovative interventions such as online purchasing and home delivery of food supplies should be piloted to reduce human physical contact. This requires improved broadband connectivity and collaboration between mobile network companies and food suppliers to pilot online purchases.
ISSN: 2331-1932
Appears in Collections:Department of Development Studies

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