17 April 2020, Rome – An increasing number of countries introduce measures that reduce population and labor mobility in view of the COVID-19 outbreak. It is straightforward that agricultural tasks maybe compromised, turning the health to a production system shock. If agricultural tasks are not performed on time, crops ready for harvest may be lost while planting may not be feasible challenging future food availability. In other words, food production systems may collapse with devastating impacts on food security.
The FAO mapping tool displays information on planting and harvesting months for key food and agriculture commodities. Planting and harvesting calendars, indicate the critical periods that the activities need to take place, as commanded by local agro-ecological conditions. The commodities are chosen based on their importance for each country in terms of the value of production or because they constitute a key food staple.
The traffic lights present FAO recommendations on planting and harvesting for each commodity and country. A green light advises to proceed with the task while speeding up the pace. This happens in all cases that a task needs to take place in the month of April and irrespective of the total number of months needed to complete the task. A yellow light advises to monitor and assess the situation, as the crisis unfolds. The yellow light also suggests speeding up the task if this deems necessary and feasible.