The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development has made it clear that the agriculture and food sector value chain has been declared as essential during the lockdown.
The harvesting and storage of all farm products including those of wine, tobacco, wool, and mohair also fall under the definition of food as an essential product.
It is critical that the food sector value chain remain fully functional to ensure that people have access to food. However, it is absolutely necessary that precautionary measures are in place within all processes relating to the provision of food, in order to prevent further spreading of the virus, said Agri SA in a statement.
There are certain regulations as published in an amendment to the Disaster Management Act of 2002 that have been put in place as the South African government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. These apply to the ways in which farms and other agribusinesses should operate during the 21-day lockdown period. Some of these regulations include methods of transporting staff, the precautions to be taken to ensure the health and safety of workers, and what to do when an employee falls ill.
For the most part, agribusinesses are encouraged to make use of a labour force that can be accommodated on site or isolated from other communities where possible, and best practice codes for hygiene should be implemented. Should an employee be suspected of being infected with Covid-19 or come into contact with someone suspected of carrying the virus, the business is to immediately contact the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999.
Note that this is a developing situation and that all businesses should stay up to date with any changes in regulation that may come into effect during this lockdown period. To stay up to date, visit the COVID-19 Corona Virus South African Resource Portal.
Article sourced from: Farmer’s Weekly