Climbing input costs pose a major threat to food production, says Agri SA
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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 said 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.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE