South African wool sales have been given the green light to continue after the government backflipped on its initial decision to not classify the industry as an essential service during the coronavirus pandemic.
This comes a month after a lockdown was announced and wool auctions, as well as other agricultural services, were deemed non-essential.
But yesterday, South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries director general Mzamo Michael Mlengana issued a letter to stakeholders saying that some agricultural services would now be deemed as essential.
"The economy of South Africa is under extreme distress and agriculture not only contributes to the growth of the economy but to food security," Mr Mlengana said.
"The government has thus designated some agricultural products and activities as essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic."
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He said the auctions of livestock, cattle, wool, mohair, skins and hides were now allowed in South Africa.
Before this announcement, Cape Wools SA, the country's most prominent wool industry body, said after extensive negotiations and the conducting of several trials, it was agreed to resume the sale of catalogue 25 yesterday through an online auction.
"We remain optimistic that the flow of wool to the pipeline can return to normal in the near future and producers are encouraged to communicate directly with their brokers for any further information," Cape Wools SA said in a statement.
The story South African wool sales resume after essential service backflip first appeared on Farm Online.