South Africa : The Southern African Agri Initiative, the organisation for family farmers, welcomes government’s firm actions to curb the spread of the coronavirus, but is still studying the measures that were announced by the President to determine the potential implications for farmers. Saai especially welcomes the exception of food production and distribution in the suspension of economic activities.
While businesses in other sectors of the economy have to downscale urgently, food production and distribution cannot come to a standstill. Saai and its network partners are continuously busy to investigate best practices to ensure a smooth value chain, and we want to share these results with family farmers. Farmer access to production instruments such as stock remedies, fodder, sprays, fertiliser and diesel remains vital to protect, care for and produce harvests.
Saai recently finalised the structure and offering of a medical scheme custom-made for family farmers through Medihelp Medical Scheme in cooperation with a number of other agricultural unions. In such a group scheme, farmers older than 50 years can be exempted from paying the higher premiums and can manage their families’ healthcare risks through a menu of options at different price structures. The outbreak of the corona pandemic underlined the urgency of such a scheme. Saai realises that the measures will subject the economy to great pressure and the need for a constant supply of affordable food has never been more important.
Saai and its network partners also signed an agreement with a wholesale provider of a registered hand sanitiser to ensure the availability of the sanitiser on farms and elsewhere in the value chain.
There is uncertainty about the different aspects of the production process and value chain issues such as export measures, labour and logistics, which Saai and its network partners will discuss with the relevant authorities. Saai requests any farmers who experience problems with harvesting and transporting their produce to the market to contact us in terms of possible legal action. Contact us at email@example.com or 066 071 6094.