Jan 27, 2023

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

How did the pandemic affect black farmers?

Strong economic growth and strong exports in 2020 and 2021 masked the struggles black farmers experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic, a study has found

Published in the Agrekon Journal Study focuses on about the food and agriculture industry, saying while farmers across the board have been hit by the pandemic, many black farmers have faced even harsher conditions “because they don’t have the resources and the… Lack of operational measures needed to weather the storms.”

“This is leading to aggravation of existing inequalities, along with the associated poverty and food insecurity,” she added.

The government announced several concessions and relief measures to the to help struggling farmers during the pandemic, but the study found that they “failed to adequately address the unique conditions of black farmers and the production and distribution networks to which they belong, particularly the informal sector of small businesses that play a key role in food systems play but have often been rlooked at.”

This was most evident in the early months of lockdown.

The study called for a supportive environment focused on the parts of the food system , which are important to black farmers.

“This is vital as black farmers can participate in much-needed agricultural sector transformation and livelihoods

In April 2020, the government announced a R1.2 billion Covid-19 relief package for farmers living between Earning 50,000 and 1 million Rand per year.

However, the public prosecutor’s office called for the aid package to be reconsidered, as it affects medium-sized farmers who were not eligible for the aid package.

End of 2020 Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza announced support for small farmers via the President’s stimulus package.

R1 billion has been allocated to help more than 75,000 farmers whose production has been disrupted by the pandemic. < /span>

“It is recognized that while the agricultural sector has been negatively impacted, subsistence and household producers have been hit the hardest.

“These are producers that move land into the Backyards of their homes, gardens in common areas that a ll be more or less the size of a football field,” she said.