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SA farmers need more government help – study

‘A lack of subsidies is making competition with other nations more difficult’.
South African farmers need more help from the government to compete with overseas producers as workers are being forced off the land, according to a study by the International Labour Organization.
 
A lack of subsidies is making competition with other nations more difficult, the group said in an e-mailed report. More casual hiring to curb costs has cut the need for on-farm housing, putting more pressure on local municipalities to offer living and infrastructure help, it said.

“Producers should be given more bargaining power, and more support in general, to negotiate with buyers but also to join forces with other Southern Hemisphere countries on the issue of subsidization,” the group said in the report. “It is equally necessary to facilitate workers’ collective bargaining power.”

South Africa is the continent’s biggest producer of corn and is one of the largest orange exporters. The Western Cape produces most of the country’s wheat and grapes, while the Northern Cape is the main source of cotton.

“The need for such a study, presenting policy makers with credible information, is a long-felt need,” farmers’ group Agri SA said by e-mail in response to the report.

©2015 Bloomberg News

 

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