SA is bleeding jobs, but agriculture may just surprise

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.
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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.