Gardeners dig for victory at home

As medical staff battle on hospital frontlines around the world, others are digging for victory at home.

Many are turning to gardening as a soothing hobby,

and a means of easing concerns over food security,

as lockdowns slow the harvesting and distribution of crops.

Fruit and vegetable seed sales are jumping worldwide, from the United Kingdom to the West Bank.

(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RESIDENT OF HEBRON, MAHMOUD ALRAJABI, SAYING:

"Everyone is off work at the moment, the economy is bad. We can benefit from the garden to produce eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, beans, okra and everything else."

In Russia, demand for seeds rose by 20%-30% year-on-year in March,

according to online retailer Ozon,

as many isolate in rural cottages with plots of land,

a traditional source of vegetables since the Soviet era.

Rooftop farms are planned in Singapore, which relies heavily on food imports.

And in Switzerland, entrepreneur Johannes Zulauf has opened a drive-through garden centre, helping people access tools and seeds.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SWISS ENTREPRENEUR AND FOUNDER OF DRIVE-THROUGH GARDEN CENTRE, JOHANNES ZULAUF, SAYING:

"... we see that our clients and, in general, people in Switzerland are growing their own fruits and vegetables."

Gardening could trim retail demand for produce, but trips to the grocery store will still be necessary.

Experts expect supermarkets to continue to see an overall increase in demand, as would-be restaurant-goers eat at home instead of dining out.