Afasa uncertain what effect lockdown will have on exports

Food production will continue as the farming and agricultural sector is exempted from the 21-day lockdown which will be imposed on Friday to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

Farmers have been unable to harvest vineyards on a farm in Vredendal, in the Western Cape due to the current drought in the province. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The African Farmers Association of South Africa (Afasa) said that it remained to be seen what effect South Africa’s lockdown would have on exports.

Food production will continue as the farming and agricultural sector is exempted from the 21-day lockdown which will be imposed on Friday to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

The association’s spokesperson in the Western Cape, Ismail Motala.

"I think the answer at the moment lies with the exports. I think the jury is still out in terms of what the export potential would be... are there going to be cancellations? Will foreign ports be able to accept our goods? Will foreign markets still have the capability to take South African fruit and vegetables."

Motala said that the Western Cape contributed 40% to 45% of South Africa’s fresh exports.

"China does play a role and I think the positive is that China is turning around, so that helps a bit but I think the EU, as a trading partner to South Africa in agriculture, is a concern."

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