Report shows 9.1 per cent of agribusinesses closed down during lockdown

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Some 9.1 per cent of agribusinesses were reportedly closed down and an additional 30.7 per cent , an equivalent of about 42,396 agribusiness forms, were closed down during the partial lockdowns in the country last year.

Some 20.9 per cent of them were as a direct result of the lockdown.

Also an estimated 16,091 representing 11.6 percent of the agribusinesses closed down due to the pandemic still remained closed after lifting the lockdown.

These were contained in Summary Report on the Impact of COVID-19 on Agribusinesses in Ghana by the Ghana Statistical Service dated June 2021 and sighted by the Ghana News Agency.

It was funded by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft fir Intertionale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Gmblt in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

It said the study used telephone interviews to collect data from 8,000 agribusinesses across the country on inputs and revenue by sources, labour by sex and category of workers, social security and tax payments, labour layoffs, wages by category of workers, financial inflows, access to credit and modes of access to market.

The report said the survey was to advise the government and other stakeholders comprehensively.

It said the other objectives of the survey was to examine the regional lockdown effect from the context of the description in global and regional economies on turnover, labour force, purchasing power, demand and supply of products and services within the agribusiness channel.

It was also to provide critical analysis of the response mechanism of strategies of agribusiness and support received from local the government.

The survey it said was to identify contingency mechanism and strategies that proved effective for agribusiness during the pandemic and what would be done differently in the future, compare the relative impact of the pandemic on agribusiness and assess its effect.

The report said the pandemic affected several sectors of the economy including; agribusiness which played an important role in the economy.

It continued that the effects of the pandemic on businesses manifested in loss of jobs, decline in outputs and shocks on demand on supply.

The report noted that the effects of the lockdown affected not only the closure of firms engaged in agribusiness, but the levels of employment as well as an estimated agribusiness workers that were laid off increased from 51,111 during the lockdown to 78,412 in the post lockdown period.

It said 44.7 per cent of the total workforce in the agribusiness in the industry sector were laid off by firms as a result of the lockdown translating into an estimated 22,873 workers and a wage reduction for 63,167 workers.

It said covid-19 resulted in demand and supply shocks for agribusiness firms in the country.

The report noted that aside employment and wages, and management measures, agribusiness firms in the country internally implemented measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, key among them were diversification of supplies, increased adoption of digital technology to market their goods and services and the use of mobile money and courier services.

It revealed that about 5.1 per cent of all agribusiness firms adopted or increased the use of internet for their operations.

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