Daily news about how the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is impacting agriculture and food supply chains globally and specifically in South Africa.

COVID-19 lockdown triggers rise in rural crime

The COVID-19 pandemic and resultant national lockdown in South Africa have produced a plethora of negative socio-economic consequences. Amongst these is a wave of crime against the country’s farmers. Lloyd Phillips reports on this phenomenon and on how government’s consistent failures have made a difficult problem significantly worse.

Go-ahead given for ivermectin use against COVID-19

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) has announced that it will allow the controlled use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19 in humans.

Pressure mounts to fast-track ivermectin for treating COVID-19

A group of South African medical professionals and AfriForum are separately pressuring government to fast-track authorisation for the use of human-approved ivermectin products as a potential preventative and curative treatment against COVID-19 infections.

Alcohol ban plunges wine and barley farmers in crisis

The spill-over of the liquor ban to the agriculture sector is going to be serious, but the impact is yet to be determined, according to Agri SA executive director, Christo van der Rheede.

COVID-19 fears cause rush on ivermectin

Many South Africans fearful of COVID-19 are reportedly throwing caution to the wind by orally consuming ivermectin-based products registered nationally only for administration to livestock in oral, injectable or pour-on formats.

Public warned against using ivermectin to treat COVID-19

South Africans have been warned not to use the parasiticide, ivermectin, as a preventative or curative treatment for COVID-19. This is after the international debate on the drug’s effectiveness against the disease reached local shores late last year.

Table grapes yet to experience full impact of COVID-19

Limited marketing opportunities for secondary fruit can be a big challenge for table grape producers this season, according to Francois Rossouw, managing director of Mooigezicht Estates near De Doorns.

Concern about high post-lockdown milk and meat prices

The Competition Commission’s (CompCom) third essential food pricing monitoring report has found that retail food prices have not returned to normal, following increases during the initial ‘hard’ lockdown in South Africa to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

High Court’s rejection of tobacco ban ‘doesn’t undo damage’

Companies and industry organisations in South Africa’s legal tobacco value chain have welcomed the recent judgement of the Western Cape High Court that found that government’s five-month COVID-19-related ban on the legal sale of tobacco products was unconstitutional and, therefore, unlawful.

SA agribusiness confidence shoots to six-year high

Although current sentiments for South Africa’s agriculture sector are generally positive, parts of the sector, such as the tobacco and wine value chains, are now feeling the financial aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated national and international lockdown restrictions.

Large-scale culling of COVID-19 mink shrouded in controversy

Russia has announced that the country’s agricultural ministry will proactively vaccinate its mink population against COVID-19 after several European countries as well as the US identified cases of the virus that carry the disease in the animals.

Normalised liquor sales will help wine industry recovery

Stakeholders in South Africa’s wine industry have welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that restrictions on liquor trading would be eased, saying that it will assist in the recovery of the wine industry.

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