Images of empty shelves in grocery stores worldwide have emerged amid the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, this has had little to do with an actual shortage of food products but rather has reflected the behavior of panicked consumers who are hoarding food.
While some earlier publications (e.g., IFPRI, March 10, 2020) perceived no imminent threats from the pandemic to global food security, more recent articles (e.g., IFPRI, March 20, 2020; FAO, March 26, 2020; FAO, The Guardian) called attention to proper policy responses to reduce the potential negative impacts of COVID-19 on local and global food systems and food security. Potential disturbances in worldwide food trade are of increasing concern (IFPRI, March 27, 2020), as several notifications of food trade restrictions (e.g. Kazakhstan and Thailand) have already been registered by the WTO.
As the pandemic is still evolving, its potential impact on food systems is difficult to predict. Nevertheless, considering the experience of previous crises as well as the unprecedented geographic coverage and scale of the current pandemic, many countries are undertaking precautionary measures to ensure a stable food supply for their population. So is Georgia.