By Annisa Essack
South Africa has experienced heavy rainfall, wreaking havoc on staple fruit and vegetables. Many farmers welcomed the rain, but it has cost South Africa’s tomato industry almost R100 million during December.
According to Clive Garret, marketing head of ZZ2, South Africa’s largest tomato producers, told Business Insider South Africa on Tuesday, the recent rains have resulted in South Africa’s five main fresh produce markets receiving between 500 and 700 tons fewer tomatoes daily in December.
As tomato crop volumes decreased, prices increased from R7 p/kg to R12 p/kg between the beginning of December till the end.
Dr Johnny van der Merwe in his weekly tracking of price movements of fresh produce, said prices were likely to increase if South Africa experienced further heavy rainfalls.
The agricultural sector also contended with hail damage, particularly in the Free State, North West and Mpumalanga.
However, volumes have already improved, with no significant impact on crop volumes this year.
Agri SA’s executive director, Christo van der Rheede, said that if there’s a shortage in a particular region, farmers in the other areas are making up for the shortfall.