A report by the World Bank says Covid-19 has resulted in the reversal of a decades-long trend in Africa – as more families return to agriculture.
Employment in the sector in sub-Saharan Africa has declined steadily by more than 18 per cent between 2000 and 2020.
The pandemic, however, has drawn a line under the falling numbers, says the World Bank, with household employment in farming showing an increase.
The information comes from phone surveys conducted by the National Statistic Offices of Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria and Uganda.
Overall, the survey results suggest that workers who were not previously employed in agriculture are now moving into the sector.
Most family members returning to farming are engaging in the growing of crops, with fewer employed in livestock production.
The authors of the report say most of the “new” workers are from urban, rather than rural, households and could reflect the food security challenges posed by the pandemic in the towns and cities.