Be prepared for the new way of doing things
It is encouraging that we have effectively been on Level 2 of lockdown since 18 August this year. The country has been suffering under the impact of COVID-19 for more than five months. Many decisions were made and proclaimed by the government and we can argue for hours about whether they were the right or the wrong decisions. The fact is that this pandemic was not familiar to us and nobody could really predict what its impact would be.
As far as health is concerned, many people have been directly affected – or indirectly, through loved ones who contracted COVID-19. Our hearts go out to everyone who lost loved ones during this time.
So, how was the grain industry affected? We are privileged and blessed that we are currently harvesting the second biggest grain harvest in the history of South Africa. This crop was planted before COVID-19 appeared on our doorsteps. Good rainfall at the right time and favourable agricultural conditions contributed to the current harvest. Prices are also currently still higher than one would expect with such a good harvest and we are glad that producers can benefit from this. Agriculture is contributing to the country’s economy to a great extent at present.
Except in isolated cases – and grain storage and milling facilities that had to close down for brief periods – the industry was relatively free from a material impact by COVID-19. Consumption did drop due to lower levels of consumer spending, and this impact will still be felt for the next year or two.
However, it is an indisputable fact that the world will never be exactly the same as before COVID-19. There is a new way of doing things, and the pandemic will lead to even more new trends, working methods and changes.
To us in the grain industry it remains important to be properly prepared for the new trends and working methods. How will our industry change? How do we prepare ourselves?
Time will tell, but we must be ready.
Board Member and Treasurer: GOSA
Cell phone: 082 924 6222