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Rising agricultural input costs will affect both South African growers and consumers

All over South Africa, rising input costs for farmers will squeeze profit margins in the 2021/2022 period. Unfortunately, this is largely due to international trends and there is limited scope for South Africa to influence the cost of inputs.

In the past few months, South Africa's agriculture has been a thriving sector, growing by 13.4% year on year in 2020 and expected to grow a further 7.6% in 2021. The large 2020 harvests improved farmers' finances and allowed some to do essential investments.

However, rising input costs -- higher fuel, labor, fertilizer, energy and agrochemical costs for those in field crops and horticulture -- are squeezing producers and calls have been made for some sort of intervention. Moreover, South Africa has very limited control as many of these issues are driven by international events over which South Africa has very little influence.


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