Fairtrade Africa Network has announced a Sh70.5 million fund to support Africa farmers from the adverse effects of Covid-19 pandemic.
The fund, which is divided into the ‘Fairtrade Africa Producer Relief Fund' and the ‘Fairtrade Africa Producer Resilience Fund', will be directed into safety and livelihood programmes.
It will fund purchase of masks and basic protective and medical equipment, wage payments, food security initiatives, awareness of safety campaigns and business continuity costs.
“Fairtrade Africa would like to inform all Fairtrade certified producers that Sh70.5 million has been allocated for disbursement to support vulnerable producers and workers in the region at this time,” the Africa Fairtrade Network announced in a statement.
“The Resilience Fund is established to meet the longer-term needs of producers as they begin to look at life post COVID-19 such as business restoration, technology-based capacity building, addressing human rights risks in value chains through programmatic interventions, support for strengthening finances to tackle future risks, and advocacy.”
This comes at a time when the country's horticulture industry is struggling to cope with decline in overseas orders amid cancellation of flights as well as travel restrictions.
A drop in revenue has seen flower and fruit companies cut thousands of jobs amid rising costs.
Horticulture exports fell seven percent in 2019 to Sh142.72 from Sh154.7 billion.