By Kaya 959 Reporter
The farming community remains one of the hardest sectors hit, owing to increases in fuel and fertiliser.
Farmer advocacy group TLU SA says looking at forecasts, potato farmers believe that their input costs will increase.
The costs could rise by an average of 30%, which will impact the profitability of the product as well as the price on the market.
“This week’s sharp rise in the price of petrol and diesel coupled with the record highs of fertiliser prices, put both the consumer and the farmer on the back foot,” says TLU SA’s Bennie van Zyl.
He says a report by Grain SA sets out the increase in input costs for maize farmers.
“It is especially the price of fertiliser that has a big influence as fertiliser accounts for about 30% to 35% of a maize producer’s variable production costs”, the report states.
TLU SA says the price of seeds also increased.
“According to calculations by Grain SA, the total variable cost of maize is expected to have an average increase of between about 20% to 28% year on year.”
Estimated production costs
“Estimated production costs for the 2021/’22 production season for maize farmers in the Eastern Free State are R13 998 per hectare and in the Northwest, it is R13 109.”
Information provided by Potato South Africa shows that four of the eight regions that supply potatoes work at a loss.
TLU SA says production costs for potato farmers per hectare for the 2020/’21 season vary between R112 000 and R333 000.
“After all the input costs have been considered, farmers currently receive an average of R2.24 profit for a 10kg bag of potatoes.
“In the past four to five months, the price of a cabbage head is about R8, and bags – approximately 27kg – with up to 10 heads per bag are on average R55. Butternuts are R20 per bag of 7kg. From July to September this year, the farmer received between R50 and R62 for 10kg.
“At the end of October, the price for 10kg on the Johannesburg market ranged between R46 for a medium bag and R55 for a large bag. Nationwide, the price is between R58 and R48,” van Zyl says.