Eskom blackouts could affect food security: AgriSA

AgriSA says the current energy crisis may have implications for food security next year.

The agricultural organisation has urged farmers to put measures in place plans to mitigate the effects of the rolling blackouts.

The agricultural sector alone has spent about R9 billion on electricity, which is 7% more than the entire sector’s expenditure on intermediate goods and services.

AgriSA says it has approached Eskom for engagement in order to understand the current challenges and gain some insight into the outlook for the year.

Executive Director at Agri SA, Christo van der Rheede says, “Electricity is a key agricultural input. Because the current energy crisis is happening as South Africa enters the summer crop season, it may have implications on food security in the coming year. If crops fail for lack of irrigation or farmers plant less for fear of losses, the country will be at the risk of food shortages or higher prices. Load shedding will also have implications for South Africa’s exporters as it disrupts cold chain protocols and causes a delay in shipments.”

Meanwhile, Chief Economist at Econometrix Azar Jammine says the latest rate hike will hurt indebted consumers but says the current rates are not too different from the levels prior to the Covid pandemic.

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Source: SABC News (