Building resilient local food systems - Lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic

Authors: Eden Kinkaid*, University of Arizona - Geography & Development
Topics: Food Systems, Agricultural Geography
Keywords: COVID-19, food systems, agriculture, resilience
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 31
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In this presentation, we consider what the impacts of COVID-19 on southern Arizona’s food system can teach us about ongoing challenges faced by small farmers in the region and identify potential points of leverage for supporting local food production in uncertain times. Drawing on our survey with food producers, we situate the impacts of COVID-19 in the context of farmers’ ongoing concerns about agriculture in the region, including various environmental and market stressors. By situating the pandemic within various other dynamics unfolding within the regional food system, we consider what this moment can teach us about opportunities and hurdles for developing a more vibrant and resilient food system in southern Arizona. Specifically, we examine what policies and institutional partnerships can help to address compounding pressures in the local food system and address the kinds of vulnerabilities and potentials that COVID-19 has illuminated. In addition to presenting our research findings, we will also discuss linkages between this research and ongoing dialogues and advocacy related to our local food system.

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