Implications of Covid-19 Pandemic on Household Food Security: Experience from Sarawak, Malaysia
This paper discusses how household food security is affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, using examples from Sarawak, Malaysia. Food security in Sarawak was affected by the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) that was introduced to curb the spread of the Covid-19 disease. The MCO, and the subsequent phases that followed, imposed a varying degree of restrictions on movements in the country. This measure had serious repercussions on food security as it affects the distribution of food as well as how people access food. This raises questions of how secure households are in terms of food security, how do they ensure food security for their households and what are their greatest challenge in ensuring food security. This paper seeks to address those questions by examining the experiences and perceptions on food security during the pandemic based on the responses of 235 respondents. Findings indicated that most households are food secure i.e. having similar access to food as prior to MCO and have not skipped any meals. In order to achieve this, households had to resort to various measures including switching their food sources, shopping online, and going without their preferred food. Significantly, the finding shows that food security means more than just having enough food but should also incorporate elements of variety, types and quantity of food. It also shows that the greatest challenge in achieving and maintaining household food security lies in the way household cope with the changes brought, both directly and indirectly, by the pandemic.
Ansah, I. G. K., Gardebroek, C., & Ihle, R. (2019). Resilience and household food security: A review of concepts, methodological approaches and empirical evidence. Food Security, 11, 1187-1203.
Bennett, E. L. (2002). Is there a link between wild meat and food security? Conservation Biology, 16(3), 590-592.
Bhavani, R. V., & Gopinath, R. (2020). The COVID19 pandemic crisis and the relevance of a farm-system-for-nutrition approach. Food Security, 12, 814-884. doi: 10.1007/s12571-020-01071-6
Bublitz, M. G., Czarkowski, N., Hansen, J., Peracchio, L. A., & Tussler, S. (2020). Pandemic Reveals Vulnerabilities in Food Access: Confronting Hunger Amidst a Crisis. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 1-3. doi: 10.1177/0743915620929998
Capone, R., Bilali, H. E., Debs, P., Cardone, G., & Driouech, N. (2014). Food system sustainability and food security: connecting the dots. Journal of Food Security, 2(1), 13-22.
Cooper, E. E. (2013). Evaluating household food insecurity: applications and insights from rural Malaysia. Ecology of food and nutrition, 52(4), 294-316.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) (1983). Committee on World food security (CFS 83/4): Director Generals Report on Food Security: A reappraisal of the concepts and approaches. Rome. Retrieved from https://agris.fao.org/agris-search/search. do?recordID=XF8333115
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) (1996). Rome Declaration on World Food Security and World Food Summit Plan of Action: World Food Summit 13-17 November 1996, Rome, Italy. Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/3/w3613e/w3613e00.htm
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) (2006). Food security. Policy Brief, 2, 1-4. Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/faoitaly/documents/pdf/pdf_Food_ Security_Cocept_Note.pdf
Food and Agriculture Organisation (2020). Impacts of coronavirus on food security and nutrition in Asia and the Pacific: Building more resilient food systems. Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/3/ca9473en/CA9473EN.pdf
Galanakis, C. M. (2020). The Food Systems in the Era of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Crisis. Foods, 9(4), 523.
Hashim, M. S., Isa, A. M., Menon, A. S., & Nazari, N. M. (2019). The Effect of Tourism Towards the Food Security Issues to the Urban Poor in Sarawak, Malaysia: A Conceptual Approach. International Journal of Financial Research, 10(5), 241-249.
Hobbs, J. E. (2020). Food supply chains during the COVID‐19 pandemic. Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 2020(S), 1-6. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/cjag.12237
Kim, K., Kim, S., & Park, C. Y. (2020). Food Security in Asia and the Pacific amid the COVID-19 Pandemic. ADB Brief No. 139. Manila, Philippines: Asian Development Bank. Retrieved from https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/611671/adb-brief-139-food-security-asia-pacific-covid-19.pdf
Langgat, J., Zahari, M. S. M., Yasin, M. S., & Mansur, N. A. (2011, March 14-16). The alteration of Sarawak ethnic natives' food: it's impact to Sarawak state tourism. In 2nd International Conference on Business and Economic Research Proceeding, 684-698. Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia.
Loopstra, R. (2020). Vulnerability to food insecurity since the COVID-19 lockdown. The Food Foundation. Retrieved from https://foodfoundation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Report_COVID19FoodInsecurity-final.pdf
Mat Akhir, A., Omar, R., & Abd Hamid, H. (2009, November 11-13). Food security–A national responsibility of regional concern: Malaysia’s case. Paper presented at the Conference on Food Security and Sustainable Development (pp. 11-13), Rome. Retrieved from http://www.idra.it/garnetpapers/C01A_M_Akhir_RoziahOmar_HamidinAbdHamid.pdf
Maxwell, D. G. (1996). Measuring food insecurity: the frequency and severity of “coping strategies”. Food Policy, 21(3), 291–303. doi:10.1016/0306-9192(96)00005-x
Maxwell, D., Caldwell, R., & Langworthy, M. (2008). Measuring food security: Can an indicator based on localized coping behaviours be used to compare across contexts? Food Policy, 33, 533-540.
Maxwell, S., & Smith, M. (1992). Household food security: a conceptual review. Household food security: Concepts, indicators, measurements. New York: UNICEF Programme Publications.
Mutiah, S., & Istiqomah, I. (2017). Determinants of Household Food Security in Urban Areas. JEJAK: Jurnal Ekonomi Dan Kebijakan, 10(1), 103-120. doi: 10.15294/jejak.v10i1.9130
Onn, L. P. (2018). Property rights, food security, and gender: The impact of the expansion of palm oil plantations on native communities in Sarawak, Malaysia. In Devasahayam, T. W (Eds.), Ensuring a square meal: Women and food security in Southeast Asia, (pp. 147-169).
Rahman, M. M., Arif, M. T., Bakar, K., & Talib, Z. (2012). Food safety knowledge, attitude and hygiene practices among the street food vendors in Northern Kuching City, Sarawak. Borneo Science, 31, 107-116.
Rosegrant, M. W., & Cline, S. A. (2003). Global food security: challenges and policies. Science, 302(5652), 1917-1919.
Sharif, Z. M., & Ang, M. (2001). Assessment of food insecurity among low income households in Kuala Lumpur using the Radimer/Cornell food insecurity instrument–a validation study. Malaysian Journal of Nutrition, 7(1), 15-32.
World Health Organisation (WHO) (2020). Director-General’s Opening Remarks at the Media Briefing on COVID-19—11 March 2020. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19---11-march-2020
Copyright (c) 2021 Regina Garai Abdullah
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Copyright Transfer Statement for Journal
1) In signing this statement, the author(s) grant UNIMAS Publisher an exclusive license to publish their original research papers. The author(s) also grant UNIMAS Publisher permission to reproduce, recreate, translate, extract or summarize, and to distribute and display in any forms, formats, and media. The author(s) can reuse their papers in their future printed work without first requiring permission from UNIMAS Publisher, provided that the author(s) acknowledge and reference publication in the Journal.
2) For open access articles, the author(s) agree that their articles published under UNIMAS Publisher are distributed under the terms of the CC-BY-NC-SA (Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, for non-commercial purposes, provided the original work of the author(s) is properly cited.
3) For subscription articles, the author(s) agree that UNIMAS Publisher holds copyright, or an exclusive license to publish. Readers or users may view, download, print, and copy the content, for academic purposes, subject to the following conditions of use: (a) any reuse of materials is subject to permission from UNIMAS Publisher; (b) archived materials may only be used for academic research; (c) archived materials may not be used for commercial purposes, which include but not limited to monetary compensation by means of sale, resale, license, transfer of copyright, loan, etc.; and (d) archived materials may not be re-published in any part, either in print or online.
4) The author(s) is/are responsible to ensure his or her or their submitted work is original and does not infringe any existing copyright, trademark, patent, statutory right, or propriety right of others. Corresponding author(s) has (have) obtained permission from all co-authors prior to submission to the journal. Upon submission of the manuscript, the author(s) agree that no similar work has been or will be submitted or published elsewhere in any language. If submitted manuscript includes materials from others, the authors have obtained the permission from the copyright owners.
5) In signing this statement, the author(s) declare(s) that the researches in which they have conducted are in compliance with the current laws of the respective country and UNIMAS Journal Publication Ethics Policy. Any experimentation or research involving human or the use of animal samples must obtain approval from Human or Animal Ethics Committee in their respective institutions. The author(s) agree and understand that UNIMAS Publisher is not responsible for any compensational claims or failure caused by the author(s) in fulfilling the above-mentioned requirements. The author(s) must accept the responsibility for releasing their materials upon request by Chief Editor or UNIMAS Publisher.
6) The author(s) should have participated sufficiently in the work and ensured the appropriateness of the content of the article. The author(s) should also agree that he or she has no commercial attachments (e.g. patent or license arrangement, equity interest, consultancies, etc.) that might pose any conflict of interest with the submitted manuscript. The author(s) also agree to make any relevant materials and data available upon request by the editor or UNIMAS Publisher.