KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala says while many sectors have been severely affected by COVID-19 and shed many jobs, agriculture in the province was not affected as badly as other sectors during the lockdown.
Zikalala was speaking during the launch of the planting season in uMzimkhulu in southern KwaZulu-Natal. It has been estimated that a third of people in South Africa went to bed hungry during the lockdown.
Zikalala has urged people to plant crops to put food on their tables and to also sell.
“Agriculture is one of those industries that have not been affected so heavily, however, we believe that the production might not be at the level that was envisaged at the beginning of the year. Therefore it is important for people to take it seriously. But this is the first planting season in for this year and therefore all communities participate and ensure food production.”
South Africa’s economy contracted by 51% in the second quarter due to the impact of coronavirus. Manufacturing, trade, and transport industries were the main contributors to negative growth.
The manufacturing industry decreased by 74.9% while the trade, catering and accommodation industry decreased by 67.6%.
The agriculture, forestry and fishing industry was the only positive contributor to GDP growth: