COVID-19: More people returning to agriculture than other businesses – NBS

The agriculture sector showed the highest increase in people returning to work in July and August, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said.

The NBS disclosed this in its fourth COVID-19 impact monitoring report.

Details of the impact monitoring report said the increase is mostly due to the harvesting season.

“Despite the fact that many non-farm family businesses have reopened since the start of the crisis, some of these businesses closed again between July and August,” it said.

The NBS said as of August, about 35 per cent of households who operated a non-farm business since the beginning of 2020 have remained in operation since April/May, down from 40 per cent during July.

The report also said 13 per cent restarted operations in July, while 12 per cent started operations after July.

In August, it said almost 26 per cent of households had businesses that were closed, up from 23 per cent in July, it said.


Meanwhile, in the livestock sector, over 54 per cent of households have kept livestock since mid-March.

“This sector has not been immune from the COVID-19 crisis with nearly 36 per cent of livestock owning households reporting being adversely affected by the pandemic,” it said.

The livestock production activities that had suffered from the coronavirus crisis include access to feed (89 per cent of households affected), access to healthcare/drugs (79 per cent), and access to input/output markets (82 per cent).

It said the pandemic also led to an increase in the sale of livestock for some households “that might otherwise not have been inclined to sell in the absence of the pandemic.”

It said households are shifting to the sale of livestock as a coping mechanism in the face of COVID-19 crisis.

“Overall, almost 29 per cent of livestock owning households reported that they usually sell their livestock.”

However, the pandemic resulted in an additional 17 per cent of households reporting the need to sell their livestock as a result of the hardships imposed by the pandemic.

“This shift to livestock sales as a result of the coronavirus crisis was more prevalent among poorer household.

“Severe food insecurity are more prevalent than that reported in July/August 2018 during the first visit of the GHS-Panel.”


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