The Covid Report: Some small scale farmers will not survive post Covid-19 pandemic without financial support
While the agriculture and food sector value chain were declared as essential during the lockdown, small scale farmers who sell directly to markets and consumers were adversely affected as they could not reach customers. Dr Lennox Xolile Mtshagi, President of Black Farmers Association of SA says some of the small scale farmers are not going to be able to revive their business post the Covid 19 pandemic if they do not receive any funding from government. Some farmers have had to sell some of their equipment to keep up with their monthly expenses during the lockdown period. Mtshagi says big retailers continue to sideline black farmers, making it impossible for them to grow their businesses. Another farmer, Mpho Mpfuni co-founder of Mulilo Holdings, says the have to cut down the number of employees from 15 to 8 as they could not afford to pay their salaries as the UIF and grants took long.