Source: Wandile Sihlobo, News24, 22 June 2020, photo credit: Sartup Soda
One of the key questions that consistently arises amid the Covid-19 pandemic impact on the economy is about the effects on employment.
In agriculture, I think there could be some resilience compared to other sectors of the economy because of the major two reasons.
First, the sector was largely operational even during the strict Level 5 lockdown, except a few subsectors such as the wine industry, tobacco, wool and floriculture, amongst others.
These subsectors subsequently opened when the country’s lockdown moved to Level 4 and 3, except for the tobacco industry whose sales remains prohibited, while harvest and fieldwork are permitted. Second, South Africa expects its second largest grains harvest in 2019/20 season, a harvest process that in fact started recently. Also, there is an expectation of a record citrus harvest, general improvement in output in other fruits following drought years, and also a recovery in wine grapes output.
The South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) coordinates industry interventions and collaboratively manages risks in the value chain to enable the sustainability and profitability of pork producers in South Africa.