CropLife South Africa is extremely concerned about the ongoing lawlessness in the country, especially in KwaZulu-Natal. In particular, the impact of the vandalism and theft on agricultural production in KwaZuluNatal (and the rest of the country should the situation worsen) is particularly worrisome.
As the agricultural industry gears up for the summer rainfall planting season, CropLife SA member companies are currently producing or importing significant volumes of plant protection products for the coming summer rainfall
Unfortunately, CropLife SA member companies have already reported significant losses of infrastructure and inventories of plant protection products in KwaZulu-Natal and with the Port of Durban currently unable to receive or process shipments, very few new plant protection products can enter the country.
We are also receiving reports of large areas of sugarcane and staple grain crops that have been deliberately destroyed in various parts of KwaZulu-Natal, along with sporadic illegal invasions of farm homesteads.
Thankfully, CropLife SA has not received any reports of injuries from member companies. Being this close to the start of the summer rainfall cropping season, there is no doubt that shortages of plant protection products will result from these acts of arson and theft as there is just practically not enough time to import replacement stocks of either active ingredients or formulated products.
The consequences for food security in our country could be severe in the coming months. CropLife SA therefore urges strong action from government to prevent further losses of infrastructure or inventory critical to the successful summer rainfall cropping plantings. Hunger and unemployment have no political affiliation, and following the COVID-19 pandemic, our country cannot afford such lawlessness to continue.
In addition, all CropLife SA member companies have been urged to take the necessary measures to safeguard their infrastructure, inventory and employees