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Accepted Paper:

What makes value chains resilient? The importance of civic-minded stakeholders in coping with Covid-19 in rural Mozambique  
Judith Krauss (University of York) Milagre Nuvunga (Micaia Foundation) Eduardo Castro Jr. Casey Ryan (University of Edinburgh)

Paper short abstract:

Drawing on phone interviews in rural Mozambique (May-July 2020), we highlight the different impacts of Covid-19 restrictions on local and regional value chains. Honey and baobab, chains with civic-minded investors, continued to function, while e.g. charcoal producers lost significant income.

Paper long abstract:

Non-pharmaceutical interventions such as social distancing and travel restrictions have been implemented to reduce the transmission of Covid-19. This led to different impacts on local, regional and global value chains, but empirical data on such impacts is sparse. Through weekly phone interviews May to July 2020 with 92 panelists in nine rural communities across Mozambique (n=441), our research traced the diverse repercussions of Covid restrictions for different local and regional value chains, including the production and sale of baobab, honey, charcoal and various agricultural products.

We found that Covid-19, despite limited direct health impacts, significantly re-shaped all value chains, albeit with different outcomes. Two value chains continued to function effectively despite the pandemic: honey and baobab, providing much-needed earnings particularly to women at a time when many other sources of income were eliminated. The value chains that continued to function during the pandemic encompassed more civic-minded actors and investors which altered their modes of operation e.g. to accommodate social distancing and promote knowledge on Covid at collection centres. By contrast, producers involved in the charcoal, peanut and banana value chains saw their selling opportunities and incomes significantly reduced due to Covid travel and transport restrictions as well as border closures, causing hunger in some cases. Tracing the role of governments and civil-society actors, our paper argues that there were significant links between the involvement of civic-minded stakeholders in value chains, their resilience under Covid and livelihood implications, especially for women.

Panel P04a
Shifting South: Governance of regional value chains, social standards and Covid-19 I
  Session 1 Monday 28 June, 2021, -