As a result of the disruptions caused by cancelled flights as well as the closure of many factories in Europe, there has been limited exportation of crops, McKinsey has said, while also noting that it will affect the livelihoods of many. According to the consultancy firm, the pandemic could cost Africa a whopping $4.8 billion in lost agricultural exports while also affecting the livelihoods of 10 million farmers.
Not only is the sector a backbone of many economies in Africa, accounting for as much as 23% in GDP, it also accounts for the jobs of as much as 60% of economically active people in the sub-Saharan part of the continent. Only the exports from the continent are worth between $35 billion and $40 billion every year.
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Other losses forecasted by McKinsey include:
- Loss of between $500 million and $2 billion in the exportation of fruit, vegetables, and nuts
- Cocoa exports could be reduced by as much as $2 billion owing to the fall in demand for chocolate as well as a decline in general prices
- Loss of almost $200 million in exports of coffee, which supports 6.6 million jobs primarily in East Africa
- Between $400 million and $600 million in revenue from flower exports could also be lost
These very disruptions could affect preparations for the next planting season and particularly make it harder to curtail an invasion of crop-eating locusts in East Africa. They, however, noted that rich harvests in the current season
Still, bumper harvests from the current season in certain countries could mitigate the negative impact.