The COVID-19 pandemic has become the defining global health crisis worldwide. It has also greatly affected African livelihoods, with particular effects felt in agricultural-inputs delivery, production systems, food security and agricultural livelihoods.
Ghana: Ghana is largely an import-driven economy; the persistence of COVID-19 is likely to have a substantial adverse effect on the country’s international trade and reserves. Restrictions on peoples’ movements in a partial lockdown has led to disruptions in transportation, the supply chain in agriculture and lower demand in agricultural and agribusiness activities.
Malawi: With COVID-19 spreading in Malawi, massive consequences to food security and rural livelihoods are feared; this is with regards to the massive role agriculture plays in support and development of the livelihoods of many Malawians and its significant contribution towards Malawi’s GDP.
Mozambique: Due to the quarantine measures and restrictions put in place, various agricultural activities have been put on hold. Trade and work within the country has also been restricted. As such, income-earning opportunities for thousands of AgriSMEs and farming communities have been negatively affected.
Tanzania: Even though Tanzania did not close its borders, it still relies heavily on the importation of agricultural inputs from Asia and Europe. Lockdowns implemented overseas have had an impact on the availability and price of agricultural inputs in the local market. There, AgriSMEs have been affected in that there is low purchasing power, agricultural inputs are unavailable, and skepticism has developed regarding doing farming activities during this pandemic.
Uganda: Despite the continuation of certain activities, like the AgriSMEs continuing to the sell the inputs, the total lockdown has still affected the businesses. There are very few farmers going to purchase inputs since the most-used means of transport “bodaboda” was banned during this period. The lockdown also means there is restriction in the movement of agricultural inputs and outputs from the source to customer/markets.
This report provides the results of the conducted impact assessment to establish the effect of COVID-19 on the AgriSMEs and farming communities of Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda. The assessment was on a sample size of 54 AgriSMEs [43 Male, 11 Female] and 195 farmers [114 Male, 81 Female].
Impact on AgriSMEs
Impact on Farming Communities
|• Effects to business operations and performance: More than 50% of the AgriSMEs are reporting significant negative impact on their business operations and performance. Uganda -100%, Tanzania & Ghana – 50%, Mozambique – 91% and Malawi – 69%
• Impact on ability to source agricultural inputs for sale to farmers: Over 40% of the AgriSMEs reported significant negative impact on their ability to source agricultural inputs for sale. Uganda – 90% impact, Tanzania – 60%, Ghana – 40%, Mozambique – 55% and Malawi – 62%
• Effect on ability to reach farmers with all services: Over 45% of the AgriSMEs reported significant negative impact on their ability to reach farmers with all services. Uganda – 80%, Tanzania – 50%, Ghana – 60%, Mozambique – 64% and Malawi – 46%
• Anticipated impacts if ability to reach farmers has been affected: The major anticipated impacts were; Farmers not able to travel to retail stores, Lack of transport services for supply of stores or delivery to farmers – restricted movement and lockdowns, Seeds and inputs (fertilizer, pesticides, etc.) not available from main suppliers
• Effects on access to distribution points: The major effects indicated were; Retail Traders not coming to buy locally, Transport disruptions affecting farmers ability to access the shop, Transport disruptions affecting ability to get inputs to distribution points
• Changed access and cost of money / credit: this are Reduced access to trade credit due to uncertainties, Bank credit less available, Suppliers unwillingness to extend credit, Shorter repayment period imposed
||• Impact on agricultural production or livelihoods: over 30% of the farmers indicated that COVID-19 has minor and significant negative impact on their livelihoods and agricultural production.
• Effect on various processes under Agricultural production: 75% of the farmers indicated no impact and 10% indicated that Seeds and inputs (fertilizer/pesticides) were not available at local retailers in Ghana. In Mozambique, 75% indicated that it had impact to planting, 30% – Seeds and inputs (fertilizer/pesticides) not available at local retailers, 30% – Seeds and inputs more expensive than usual. In Uganda, 35% – Impacts to planting, 90% – Lack of labor-agricultural workers not able to travel to fields, 80% – Seeds and inputs (fertilizer/pesticides) not available at local retailers and 100% – Seeds and inputs more expensive than usual. In Malawi, 40% – impacts to planting, 58% – Lack of labor-agricultural workers not able to travel to fields, 44% – Seeds and inputs (fertilizer/pesticides) not available at local retailers and 29% indicated Seeds and inputs were more expensive than usual.
• Effect on Market Access: Farmers indicated that COVID-19 had effects on accessing the market. The major effects were, Traders were not coming to buy locally, transport disruptions affecting ability to get produce to market and market closures affecting ability to sell produce.
• Changed what they are doing to prepare for planting: most of the farmers indicated that they are selling less food to markets to ensure own food security, requesting assistance from NGO/CBO/Cooperative
• Effects on household food security was at negative Significant impact
COVID-19 Impact on Agri SMEs
COVID-19 Impact on Farming Communities