African and Asian agrifood businesses are disproportionately affected by the COVID19 crisis.

We have published the results of a survey on the impact of COVID-19 on agribusiness and food-processing industries in the emerging and developing markets of Africa and Asia.

The food and agricultural sector accounts for 10% of the global GDP and is estimated to employ 1.5 billion people worldwide. The effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the sector are thus not limited to food safety and security, but also encompass far-reaching social and economic aspects.

In partnership with UNIDO Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) Germany and DLG e.V. (German Agricultural Society),
we conducted a survey on the impact of the coronavirus on agricultural and food-processing industries.

Online and telephone surveys were conducted among 800 companies from the food and agricultural sector with business activities in African and Southeast Asian markets in June and July 2020 by dimap – Institut für Markt- und Politikforschung GmbH. The majority of participants were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) headquartered in Europe, and one third of the participants represent larger corporations. Two third of the respondents generate more than half of their annual turnover on foreign markets.

The survey uncovered that the coronavirus pandemic especially affects smaller companies and those located in Southeast Asian and African markets: companies with less than 500 employees and located in Southeast Asia and Africa consider the impact of the crisis on their industry to be larger by approximately 10% in comparison to bigger companies or those in Europe. While companies located in Europe tend to have more optimistic expectations about the effects of the crisis, 40% already see their customers reduce production, change production processes and, most importantly, cancel orders. These effects are still limited in African and Southeast Asian countries, but are likely to become more pronounced over time, especially in Africa where the crisis only set in with some delay.

The full analysis can be found in this report.

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