‘Maize farmers face ruin’

2010-08-25 00:00

THE farming industry could see the country lose up to 30% of its maize farmers this season due to the overproduction that has led to low maize prices, said the Solidarity Research Institute.

In an interview with The Witness yesterday, the head of the institute, Johan Kruger, said the current state of the maize market could see many farmers facing financial ruin as they fail to recoup their production costs.

“There is clearly an oversupply of the maize, which is forcing prices down. The maize farmers need to change their farming because if the situation continues like this, there will be even more maize, which will depress the prices even further,” he said.

He said the matter has raised concern about the impact that the loss of farmers may have on communities.

“The farming industry is a lifeline of many small town communities that depend on the industry for their economy.”

Kruger pointed to the lack of government support as a contributing factor to the current crisis.

“The industry has no government support, which could help resolve the crisis.”

Jozeph du Plessis, a maize farmer, said farmers need to change production or more than 50% would be bankrupt in the next two years.

Attempts to contact Dr Kobus Laubscher, the chief executive officer of Grain SA, were unsuccessful.

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