AGRICULTURE NEWS - Rainfall and the availability of water were expected to have the biggest impact on vegetable production in the coming year.
Other challenges included input cost increases and limited consumer spending power, which, in turn, were expected to put pressure on producer prices and farmers’ profitability.
Lindie Stroebel, general manager of the Produce Marketing Association (PMA), told Farmer’s Weekly that lessons learned from recent droughts would start to become evident in vegetable production trends in South Africa.
“Some regions will simply stop producing products not ideal to that climate, or practices will change to intensive cropping to mitigate the risks,” she said.
According to Dr Johnny van der Merwe, a senior lecturer at the School of Economics at North-West University, intensive vegetable production was dependent on reliable and sufficient water sources.
Van der Merwe expected producer profitability to come under pressure and said he believed that constrained consumer spending would limit the price increases necessary to offset increased input costs.