Home South African Rising input costs a major threat to food production – Agri SA

Rising input costs a major threat to food production – Agri SA

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“The costs of fertiliser, herbicides, packaging, diesel, electricity and labour, to name few, are increasing rapidly, making it nearly impossible for many farmers to produce food sustainably,” says Christo van der Rheede, executive director of Agri SA.

File picture: David Ritchie

AGRI SA has flagged that rising input costs, including direct materials, direct labour and other overheads, are posing a major challenge to food production in South Africa.

“The costs of fertiliser, herbicides, packaging, diesel, electricity and labour, to name a few, are increasing rapidly, making it nearly impossible for many farmers to produce food sustainably,” Christo van der Rheede, executive director of Agri SA, said.

Agri SA appealed to all stakeholders, including the government, to engage and intervene in order to reduce the costs of critical inputs.

“And to optimise substitute products available locally to avert an impending crisis in terms of sustainable food production and ultimately food security,” Van der Rheede said.

Van der Rheede added that while international fertiliser prices had risen rapidly over the past year, South Africa boasts one of the world’s largest producers of phosphate and phosphoric acid, that is Foskor. However, South Africa is rated the third most expensive country in terms of fertiliser cost for a grain and oilseed producer, according to latest research.

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