Some experts predict that the next La Niña season might bring less damaging rains than experienced in the 2021/22 production season, thereby reducing the risk to local farmers. According to Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) chief economist Wandile Sihlobo, only three months were left before the 2022/23 summer crop planting season begins in the eastern regions of South Africa.
“Indications thus far from farmers we have interacted with are that they will likely stay on the job and boost plantings although the rising input costs like fuel, fertilizer and agro-chemicals, are putting a strain on the sector. A stronger indication of whether this story stands or not will be the release of the farmers’ intentions to plant data at the end of October. The favorable rains in recent seasons have not only benefited grains and oilseeds, but have also been supportive to the horticulture and livestock sub-sectors,” Sihlobo said.
Agbiz said that South Africa has had an unusually long period of higher-than-average rainfall over the past three seasons. Ordinarily, the country would have one or two consecutive years of above-average rainfall followed by an average rainfall season or even dryness.
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