Photo K. Dhanji/ILRI

COVID-19 and the bovine livestock sector in Colombia: Current and potential developments, impacts and mitigation options

The COVID-19 crisis is affecting the bovine livestock sector in Colombia. First impacts and short-term mitigation measures are already visible in all links of the beef and dairy value chains. The full magnitude of the crisis is not yet visible but most impacts already are or will be negative and will affect the beef and dairy value chain’s performance in the near future. However, positive trends are also visible and some will endure the crisis and help building a more resilient food system for the future. Consumer preferences will change towards more food safety, traceability, animal welfare and sustainability and the sector will need to understand this and push value chain formalization and consumer communication. The transformation of the primary sector towards more sustainability and efficiency is becoming urgent, not only to increase resilience during times of crisis (as in the actual COVID-19 situation), but also to face the aggravating effects of climate change and combat inequality. Digitalization and virtualization have become important means during the crisis in all links of the value chains, creating opportunities for sustainably increasing sector efficiency. Research can play a fundamental role in analyzing and understanding the impacts posed by the current crisis, providing technologies and recommendations for recovery, and developing solutions for building resilient food systems. This document serves as a guide to understand current developments, impacts and mitigation measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also provides an outlook on potential future impacts and suggestions for mitigation options that can help policyand decision-makers in preparing the sector better for future crises