The expected increase in fuel prices would affect the food security in the country, said Kulani Siweya, chief economist of the Agri SA, a South African agricultural industry association, on Tuesday.
South Africa is expected to have a fuel hike on Wednesday.
“An increase of this magnitude will have serious knock-on effects for food security in South Africa and it is vital that the government consider all viable options to buffer the cost pressures that impact food prices. Agri SA believes that a targeted intervention to increase the diesel rebate to the agricultural sector would serve this purpose, while also being more sustainable option over the coming months given pressures to the fiscus,” said Siweya.
He stated that the rise in fuel prices is affecting farmers with an increase in input costs while resulting in food prices hike which will hit the consumers hard in their pockets.
“The need for relief to farmers is especially urgent in that there is high demand for fuel in many parts of the sector as it is still the harvesting season for a number of commodities including summer grains and fruits like citrus. Winter crops, including wheat, are also currently being planted.
This makes these commodities sensitive to the current increase and highlights the need for a targeted and sustainable intervention that can help mute food price increases in coming months,” he said.
Siweya said they will continue engaging the government to ensure there is food security in the country. Enditem