AgriSA says the current energy crisis could have implications for food security next year.
Agricultural organizations urged farmers to take measures to mitigate the effects of power outages.
The agriculture sector alone spent about 9 billion rand on electricity, 7% more than the entire sector’s spending on intermediate goods and services.
AgriSA says it has reached out to Eskom to engage with it to understand the current challenges and gain some insight into the outlook for the year.
Agri SA chief executive Christa van der Riede says: “Electricity is a key agricultural input. As the current energy crisis comes as South Africa enters the summer harvest season, this could have implications for food security next year. If crops fail due to lack of irrigation or farmers plant less due to fear of losses, the country will be at risk of food shortages or rising prices. The offloading will also have implications for South African exporters as it breaches cold chain protocols and causes supply delays.”
Meanwhile, Econometrix chief economist Azar Jamin says the latest rate hike will hurt indebted consumers, but says current rates are not too different from pre-Covid levels.
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