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Only 13% of SA’s small-scale farms recover from Covid-19 effects

New data paints a bleak picture for the future of South Africa’s small and micro-farming community, as only a small portion of the country’s up-and-coming farmers have managed to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels, while 63% of commercial-scale farmers are back to their pre-pandemic operational levels.

54% of all small businesses surveyed were still operating below capacity. Photo by Creative Commons

54% of all small businesses surveyed were still operating below capacity. Photo by Creative Commons

This is according to the latest edition of the BeyondCovid Business Survey conducted by specialist management consultancy Pedflank.

“Small growers largely rely on sidewalk food stalls and fresh produce markets, as well as direct trade with corner shops, spaza stores, other SMMEs, schools, creches, and NGOs,” says BeyondCovid co-founder Etienne van Wyk. “When we went into hard lockdown, with all the restrictions, they lost access to those markets. Because they don’t have the financial buffers large companies have, they were hit severely and are still struggling.”

“What doesn’t help is that many SMME off-takers of emerging farmers have been affected by the pandemic. The BeyondCovid survey has revealed that 54% of all small businesses surveyed were still operating below capacity. This impacts severely on emerging farmers, considering that SMMEs account for half their demand.”

The whole article and resources can be found at foodformzansi.co.za