SA lockdown: Food supply sector to remain fully functional
Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza announced on Tuesday 24 March, that the agriculture and food supply sector will remain fully operational during the coronavirus lockdown in South Africa.
On Monday 23 March, President Cyril Ramaphosa implemented a nationwide lockdown, spanning over 21 days to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
Ramaphosa said that for the next 21 days, all South Africans, young and old, are expected to remain in their homes and only leave absolute essentials like food, medication or social grants.
South Africa’s next question is, will supermarkets remain open, will the coronavirus pandemic have an effect on our supply?
Although several businesses will be affected by the coronavirus lockdown, the agriculture and food supply sector is one of the essential systems for livelihood and therefore, will remain operational.
“Our food supply system will remain functional during this period. Agricultural production in all its forms will remain uncompromised,” said Didiza.
This includes the following services:
- All services including provision of veterinary and advisory services;
- Live auctions of livestock and sale of other agricultural commodities will continue but under the strict conditions, as prescribed by the president; and
- Exports and imports of critical agriculture commodities and the logistical measures will continue during this lockdown period to ensure global and national food security.
“This is not only limited to retailers but the entire food value chain, from farm-related operations, agro-processing and food manufacturing, logistics and related services, wholesale and retail services, and all support functions that ensure efficient delivery of the agro-food system,” said Didiza
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