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‘Farmers should be prioritised for Covid jab’ — Agri SA

Agri SA has called for farmers and farmworkers to be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccines
ESSENTIAL SERVICE: Agri SA has called for farmers and farmworkers to be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccines
Image: FILE

The agricultural sector has called for farmers and farm workers to be moved higher up on the Covid-19 vaccination priority list and believes they should be considered critical essential workers.

In a recent statement, Agri SA executive director Christo van der Rheede said people in the agricultural sector were tasked with providing the country with food security, yet they worked in rural areas that often lacked good medical infrastructure.

“The national government, which is primarily responsible for the vaccination drive, has prioritised healthcare workers and those over the age of 60 — and recently educational staff — to be vaccinated without considering critical essential workers such as [those in] the agricultural sector.

“As they play a critical role in ensuring food security, Agri SA appeals to government to also prioritise the agricultural sector in terms of the national vaccination rollout.”  

Agri SA risk and disaster manager Andrea Campher said the agricultural sector had performed exceptionally well under growing pressure, as population numbers increased while challenges, such as extended periods of drought, persisted.

She said Agri SA was concerned that, by not prioritising farmers and farmworkers, the government could jeopardise the agricultural sector’s contribution to job creation, the earning of foreign exchange and ensuring food security.  

Campher encouraged farmers and farmworkers eligible to receive the jab to register for the vaccine.



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