Agri SA warns govt’s interference amid food price dilemma could have detrimental long-term effects
Industry body Agri SA has warned that government interference in the food market could lead to empty supermarket shelves. The organisation intends to write to the Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza to request engagement with stakeholders in the value chain on the implications of government’s stated intention of tackling food pricing. This follows an announcement by Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni that Carbinet has directed the Economic Cluster to put in place an action plan on food prices, food security and access to food. Food price inflation has remained high despite various input costs having decreased, mostly owing to persistently high fuel costs and loadshedding disruptions. Agri SA says this highlights the highly complex dynamics of the food system and how, if government wants to substantively address the situation, it must begin by fixing functions within its remit – including fixing road and port infrastructure, reducing rural crime and ending loadshedding.