South Africa

Chips down: SA potato farmers warn of dumping from EU

  • Tariffs that protect the SA potato industry from dumping products from the EU have expired.
  • Industry group Potatoes SA warns that this can have disastrous consequences for local potato growers.
  • South Africa’s potato industry provides employment to an estimated 45,000 full-time and seasonal workers.

The recent expiration of import tariffs that protected the SA potato industry from dumping means that the country is at risk of low-priced frozen french fries flooding the market from abroad, industry group Potato SA said on Thursday. I warned.

He said the application to revive anti-dumping tariffs for another five years would not be in time.

The normal process involves submitting an extension called a sunset review. Next, SA’s independent regulator, South Africa’s independent regulator, the International Trade Control Board (Itac), reviews the application.

It is this review that has not been completed yet.

Potatoes SA believes that the influx of frozen French fries from the Netherlands and Belgium could cripple South African potato farmers and growers and ultimately even affect local food security.

South Africa’s potato industry provides employment to an estimated 45,000 full-time and seasonal workers, worth about R $ 7.5 billion at the primary level and R2 26 billion at the secondary level.

On average, the industry plants about 50,000 hectares of potatoes, which make up 45% of all vegetable crops produced domestically.

This represents a contribution of approximately R9 8.5 billion to the economy. “The battle between the local potato industry and the world’s importers has a long history, and South Africa is considered a major destination for the dumping of frozen processed potato products,” Willy said. Jacobs, CEO of Potatoes SA, said in a statement.

He expressed concern about the local potato industry and sought help. “South African producers are experiencing many of the challenges posed by Covid-19: cost pressures, rising input costs, and more recently riots in parts of the country.

In addition, our producers do not benefit from the financial support provided by the government to EU farmers and cannot simply compete with the low-cost products that are being dumped in our country. ” Jacobs said. Not to mention the impact on the economy, it has a spillover effect on livelihoods and unemployment. ”

Another important factor to consider is the long-term threat that agricultural dumping poses to SA’s food security, he says.

“Agricultural dumping is usually due to a large amount of surplus potato products that are not available in the country of origin, so we need to be aware of the fact that this happens periodically. South Africa is regularly in short supply when excess inventories are gone. As a result, Jacobs said, “South African producers need to meet local demand again, but price fluctuations will discourage them from re-entering the market. The reaction from the producer level is also very high. It’s slow and can take years to build. ” Production is up again.

“Prolonged imports of cheap potato products reduce local demand for potatoes, forcing potato farmers to stop planting new crops and risk running out of seed pipelines.”

He said it would take five years for commercial potatoes to be available again, given the time it takes for the seeds to reach the factory doors once the seed pipeline is exhausted.

“This not only poses a risk that potatoes aren’t available, but it naturally pushes costs up, ultimately disrupting the supply chain and negatively impacting consumers,” says Jacobs.

Other local organizations, including FairPlay, have expressed concern over the expiration of anti-dumping tariffs in recent weeks.

Chips down: SA potato farmers warn of dumping from EU

Source link Chips down: SA potato farmers warn of dumping from EU

Back to top button