COVID-19, despite our better wishes, won’t seem to go away. Despite record-low infection rates worldwide, the impact of this virus continues to affect individuals, businesses, and countries worldwide. But what exactly can the agriculture industry expect post-pandemic? Read on to learn more about the agro-food sector, why it’s so essential, the current state of the industry, and what lies ahead in the future.

The Importance of the Agriculture Industry

Agriculture is the oldest industry in human history, and its importance to society has remained paramount for thousands of years. Even in today’s tech-oriented world, nearly 30 percent of the world’s workforce finds employment in agriculture. It’s the leading industry across the majority of countries, with superpowers like China, the US, and Germany seeing the majority of profits in exports.

Additionally, this global industry occupies nearly half of all the Earth’s habitable land and creates almost $1.5 billion worth of food every year. In some sense, agriculture is the one global industry that provides the most for humanity in a diverse array of ways. And as such, it’s essential that governmental bodies across the world go above and beyond to protect this industry in the face of global emergencies, especially pandemic events.

Current Conditions of the Industry

Luckily, the health of the agricultural industry relating to food supplies is in great shape. Globally, staple crop supplies are better than ever, and production prospects hint toward further growth. Furthermore, countless nations have made COVID regulation exceptions to many businesses within the agro-food sector, allowing them to thrive and operate normally, while other industries suffered from closures and stoppages during the lockdowns. It’s important to note that the nature of the COVID-19 virus does not directly threaten the well-being of plant growth and health.

If food supplies and production are functioning at a high level, and the COVID-19 virus itself poses no threat to these sectors, why are so many throughout the industry worried right now? COVID negatively impacts supply chains and the availability of labor. These problems start at the lowest levels of the industry and ultimately affect it on a global scale. For instance, poorer countries are more susceptible to facing limited workforces caused by the rapid spread of illness – with fewer workers to help with irrigation, production, and distribution, the industry as a whole suffers from less capacity. It’s a frustrating reality, seeing as the food supplies are there, but the means of getting them to the public is made more difficult.

Labor shortages are snowballing throughout the industry with no end in sight, making breaks in the global supply chain more frequent. This is especially difficult when labor shortages strike during harvesting seasons, as demand rises despite lower yields and reduced capacities. Even more unimaginable, farms that can produce large harvests often can’t unload all of their products in a timely fashion, putting stress on businesses to store their increasingly growing supply of leftovers. This hinders production and eats into profits while simultaneously driving up operating costs.

Currently, most of the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt in developing countries, where access to vaccines and other essential healthcare resources is limited. Additionally, regions with significant restrictions on movement are noticing industry-related problems. However, as more and more waves of the virus continue to ravage communities across the globe, the effects of COVID on the industry at large will be significant and far-reaching.

A Look Into the Future

So, where does the agricultural industry go from here? At the moment, prospects seem promising. In the US, exports have rebounded dramatically from the initial dips during the first half of 2020. Other countries once again are purchasing a plethora of food/crop products from American manufacturers, including meat, dairy, wheat, and cotton. Furthermore, the government has responded quickly and effectively to COVID impacts, helping provide relief to the farmers struggling the most these past few years. Across the world, governments continue to support their sovereign agricultural industries.

In the next year or so, the industry will most likely remain in a weird “limbo” of negative predictions and slightly different outcomes – basically, conditions will remain the same. If more waves of COVID-19 reduce labor forces and disrupt global supply chains, we’ll see a decrease in profits and a further strain on countless businesses. Additionally, societal changes related to how the average individual or family spends their money (more and more people are spending more carefully) will impact the agro-food sectors.

Other Threats to The Industry

The virus itself probably won’t decimate the agricultural industry – that’s good! However, there are many other outside factors stemming from the global pandemic that threaten many aspects of agriculture. The first is the looming recession, caused by many factors, from the pandemic to rising global conflicts.

As with any recession, a nervous consumer base will most likely reduce agricultural profits across the board. Additionally, millions of individuals may lose their jobs in an effort to save money, further impacting the industry. Outside of the recession, individuals within the agriculture sector are continuing to adapt to climate change, which significantly affects the health and well-being of the industry. Ultimately, global warming may be the most detrimental hindrance to the agricultural sector of our time.

Learning more about what the agriculture industry can expect post-pandemic might bring you more stress over the conditions of our world at this time. However, these types of disruptions within the industry are totally standard following a global incident as significant as the COVID-19 outbreak. Luckily, humans have rebounded time and time again following worldwide disasters, and agriculture has remained a solid and vital sector along the way.

After a time, advancements in technology will both subdue the impact of pandemic viruses and bolster the resilience of agriculture. If your agricultural business or gardening hobby requires the right equipment to ensure success, check out our selection of high-quality agricultural plumbing supplies. Contact our team at Rural Water Direct today for additional information on finding the perfect products for you and your needs. We are always ready and happy to help anyone looking to learn more about our work and offerings.

What the Agriculture Industry Can Expect Post-Pandemic