Amuakwa-Mensah F, Amuakwa-Mensah S, Klege RA, Adom PK
Socioecon Plann Sci - (-) 101181 [2021-10-30; online 2021-10-30]
Albeit, governments have instituted strong containment measures in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns of continuous local spread and economic impact of the virus are impacting global food chains and food security. This paper investigates the effect of concern about the i) local spread and ii) economic impact of COVID-19, on the change in the amount of food and necessities bought in twelve Sub-Sahara African countries. In addition, we examine if these effects are channeled through food worries. The study uses a unique survey dataset by GeoPoll collected in April 2020 (first round) and May 2020 (second round) and employs a multinomial logit and generalized structural equation models. We find significant effect of concern about COVID-19 on change in the package size of food and necessities bought, which is heterogeneous across gender group and rural-urban divide. Our results reveal that concerns of COVID-19 might be promoting stockpiling behavior among females and those with no food worries (due to having sufficient money or resources). This if not properly managed could in the medium to long-term affect the food supply chain, food waste and exacerbate food worries problem especially for already food deprived homes. We discuss the policy implications.