IFAD / COVID-19 PANDEMIC ANNIVERSARY

10-Mar-2021 00:05:27
Rural small-scale producers are amongst those disproportionately affected by the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions and should not be forgotten in the discussions about how to recover from this health and economic emergency. IFAD
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STORY: IFAD / COVID-19 PANDEMIC ANNIVERSARY
TRT: 5:27
SOURCE: IFAD
RESTRICTIONS: EMBARGOED UNTIL 00:00 GMT 11 MARCH 2021
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / SPANISH / VIETNAMESE / NATS

DATELINE: March 2021, ROME, ITALY / FILE
SHOTLIST
FILE – IFAD - DECEMBER 2020, GUATEMALA

1.Various shots, Guatemala people lined for food distribution

FILE – IFAD – DECEMBER 2020, MEXICO

2. Close up, farmers with masks

FILE – IFAD - INDIA

3.Various shots, farmers washing hands
4.Various shots, queue out of food stall

FILE – IFAD – AUGUST 2020, NIGERIA

5. Wide shot, pan left from empty field to farmer washing hands with water can
10 MARCH 2021, ROME, ITALY

6. Wide shot, exterior, IFAD Headquarters
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Gilbert Houngbo, President of IFAD:
“In the coming months and years, it’s going to be essential that we increase the voice of the small-scale producers in the debate we are having.”

FILE – IFAD - DECEMBER 2020, GUATEMALA

8. Various shots, farmers loading truck with food bags
9. Various shots, food distribution for school dinners.
10. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Francisco Mejia- Alta Verapaz, Farmer:
“One of the benefits we’ve seen here is the security of a confirmed order. That order is secured, marked on the calendar. We know what we’re going to deliver, so we get ready. Sometimes, prices drop in the market, but the prices for the school orders are fixed for a certain period of time.”
11. various shots, mother preparing food for child and child eating
12. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Yulissa Morales, President of the School Parent Association:
“In this case, we can see a great impact. Perhaps some seven years ago, you would see a lot of malnutrition here in the community because families tend to have many children and not much food to divide among everyone.”

FILE – IFAD – AUGUST 2020, NIGERIA

13. Wide shot, Kontagora Rice processing plant
14. Wide shot, women preparing rice at the plant
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Asabe Damjuna, Kontagora Rice Producer:
“And how did we to we do it, we have to observe the social distancing, so we work in shifts. Work in the morning or the evening.”
16. Wide shot, paddy rice fields

FILE – IFAD – NOVEMBER 2020, VIETNAM

17.Wide shot, Mekong delta Vietnam Saline detecging technology
18. Wide shot, cellphone technology being used on site in the paddy fields
19. SOUNDBITE (Vietnamese) Thach Thi Than, Farmer at Tra Vinh Province:
“In the past, if our parents or we wanted to know if the water was salty or not, we had to taste it like this to decide whether to get water into the field or not. But nowadays, we can stay at home and still be able to collect water information.”

FILE – IFAD – DECEMBER 2020, MEXICO

20. Various shots, Isabel and Omar with their beekeeping pots and with their indigenous group beekeeping.
21. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Omar Mateo, Mexican Indigenous Beekeeper:
“This project has greatly benefited us. Because, in order to have that initial investment, buying all 23 pots, you need a lot of money — money we do not have.”
22. Various shots, Isabel making honey and medicinal products out of the bees.

10 MARCH 2021, ROME, ITALY

23. SOUNDBITE (English) Gilbert Houngbo, President of IFAD:
"In the current circumstances the work done by our colleagues on the humanitarian side has stepped up. It has increased and we have no choice than to increase that, so as to provide food and living for the poorest, including those in rural areas. But in as much as we need to invest more to help themselves produce enough, not only for their own food consumption but also to gain a decent income.”
STORYLINE
In the past year, the health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic has become an economic, and in some countries a food crisis, with restrictions on movement and trade having a dire effect on the world’s poorest people who grow much of the food for their communities.

Rural small-scale producers are amongst those disproportionately affected by the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions and should not be forgotten in the discussions about how to recover from this health and economic emergency.

SOUNDBITE (English) Gilbert Houngbo, President of IFAD:
“In the coming months and years, it’s going to be essential that we increase the voice of the small-scale producers in the debate we are having.”

In the year since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO),he International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has millions of rural people to adapt and be able to keep producing and selling food.

GUATEMALA
In Alta Verapaz, Guatemala when schools closed last year, farmers stepped in to help provide free school meals to thousands of children who were now unable to leave their homes.

Farmers sold their produce to the local Parent Teacher associations, who then prepared weekly take away school dinner packs of fresh fruit, vegetables and dairy products, which parents could prepare meal with for their families.

This intervention have meant that schoolchildren continue to be fed during the pandemic and farmers receive a steady income, in spite of other markets drying up.

SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Francisco Mejia- Alta Verapaz, Farmer:
“One of the benefits we’ve seen here is the security of a confirmed order. That order is secured, marked on the calendar. We know what we’re going to deliver, so we get ready. Sometimes, prices drop in the market, but the prices for the school orders are fixed for a certain period of time.”

1,200 local farmers are providing food to around 12,000 children who are part of the programme, and it has made a huge difference to the health of the children.

SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Yulissa Morales, President of the School Parent Association:
“In this case, we can see a great impact. Perhaps some seven years ago, you would see a lot of malnutrition here in the community because families tend to have many children and not much food to divide among everyone.”

NIGERIA
In Nigeria the Kontagora rice producers had to adapt their way of working to stay in production.

Set up with financial support from the Nigerian government and IFAD, a group of women rice producers were given training and access to a rice-processing centre, which helped them carry on production during the pandemic.

While other rice producers had to stop working during the lockdown, these women entrepreneurs kept going throughout.

SOUNDBITE (English) Asabe Damjuna, Kontagora Rice Producer:
“And how did we to we do it, we have to observe the social distancing, so we work in shifts. Work in the morning or the evening.”

Closed international borders meant that the market was no longer flooded with cheap imported rice. The result is the price of their rice went up by over 40 per cent and the women have continued to turn a profit in the last year.

VIETNAM
In the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, paddy field farmers are using smartphones and salt -water sensors as an early warning system to detect the salt before it can do any damage to their crops. This has proved particularly helpful during the COVID restrictions, when farmers could not travel to their fields.

SOUNDBITE (Vietnamese) Thach Thi Than, Farmer at Tra Vinh Province:
“In the past, if our parents or we wanted to know if the water was salty or not, we had to taste it like this to decide whether to get water into the field or not. But nowadays, we can stay at home and still be able to collect water information.”
Simple technology like this funded by IFAD and the Vietnam government is helping thousands of farmers in the Mekong Delta tackle climate change and preventing their crops from being destroyed by salt water leaching.

MEXICO
In Mexico, Indigenous Peoples like Omar Mateo and Isabel Marquez have seen their income plummet due to COVID restrictions. Isabel used to make a living giving educational tours, but travel restrictions have meant no tourists can visit their community. Isabel has now become even more dependent on her meliponic bees and the products she can produce from them to earn some income.

Isabel and Omar received support through a project, funded by IFAD and the Mexican government, which helps young people and women set up their own businesses.

IFAD has provided funding for the pots where the bees live and training in how to make medicinal products from the honey.

SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Omar Mateo, Mexican Indigenous Beekeeper:
“This project has greatly benefited us. Because, in order to have that initial investment, buying all 23 pots, you need a lot of money — money we do not have.”

President Houngbo said investment in small-scale farmers was crucial for them to recover from global shocks like COVID 19 and climate change, and help them become more resilient to future shocks, so that they can continue to earn an income and produce food.

SOUNDBITE (English) Gilbert Houngbo, President of IFAD:
"In the current circumstances the work done by our colleagues on the humanitarian side has stepped up. It has increased and we have no choice than to increase that, so as to provide food and living for the poorest, including those in rural areas. But in as much as we need to invest more to help themselves produce enough, not only for their own food consumption but also to gain a decent income.”
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