A new survey conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service with support from the UNDP and GiZ has found that about 16,000 agribusinesses have not recovered from the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The study which focused on firms’ survival, measured from their operational status, the impact of the pandemic on wages and employment revealed that 42,396 agribusiness firms were closed during the lockdown, out of which 20.9%, constituting 8,860 was as a direct result of the lockdown.
The survey also analysed demand and supply shocks arising from the pandemic and the effects of the pandemic on transportation of inputs and agric produce, agriculture finance, and marketing.
The exercise found that 9.1 percent of agribusinesses were reportedly closed ahead of the escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic from September 2019 to February 2020.
About 16,091 representing 11.6% of agribusinesses that folded up due to the lockdown remain closed even after the lifting of the restrictions that were imposed between May 2020 to January 2021.
The survey also found that agribusinesses continue to record marginal declines in sales even after the easing of the COVID-19 restrictions.
The good news however is that the post lockdown periods saw agribusiness firms in the service sector experiencing faster recovery with the most number of firms reopening.
On the African Continental Free Trade Area, the study concluded that a paltry 25% of the sample size of 80,000 agribusinesses engaged said they knew about the economic zone and the potential it has for the agriculture sector.
The businesses said they required more information about the AfCFTA and financial support to be able to scale their activities to effectively participate in the trade area.