AGRICULTURE NEWS - Under the level 4 lockdown regulations applicable from tomorrow, Friday 1 May, all agricultural sectors will be allowed to operate, also those that were restricted under level 5 lockdown.
Exports of all agriculture, not only the wine makers but also Amarula, wool and other synthetic products for agriculture will be open, announced Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza at a media briefing in Pretoria on Wednesday 29 April.
This follows President Cyril Ramaphosa announcement last week of the easing of lockdown restrictions from the beginning of May.
Bee keepers will get permits that will allow them to operate at night as this is the time they harvest honey.
“We are also going to make sure the fishery sector is open for fishing. During the month of June we have a sardine run in parts of our country, proper directions will be given by the Minister of Department of Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries on how that will be done,” she said.
She emphasized the importance for the sector to ensure proper distancing in the workplace and the provision of protective clothing (PPE) for workers and farmers.
In terms of the livestock industry, auctions will take place but under very strict conditions.
“We will limit the numbers to 50 but proper distancing must be observed so that we do not allow those centres of auctions to become epicentres for spreading the virus."
Some of the supporting industries that enable the agriculture sector to function such as those that relate to mechanization, tractors, comlines and other implements that are required for production, will be allowed to operate.
“We have also ensured that areas such as shops that sell agricultural chemicals, seeds as well as fertilizers should also be open so that farmers can be able to get seeds and manures and other related input for them to operate. Forestry will be permitted as well as the inspection, certification and quality control done for food safety is allowed,” said Didiza.
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