“Both countries are major exporters to international markets of fertilisers, grains and oil seeds that are needed for a range of items such as cooking oil.”
Another factor is the lower agricultural output due to extreme weather events caused by climate change, including floods and droughts. SA was not the only country affected, he said.
“While many of these events are beyond our control, government is doing what it can to shield South Africans from current and future price increases. One of our greatest advantages as a country is a strong, independent Reserve Bank that has managed to keep inflation within a narrow target range, well below what many other countries are experiencing.”
The president said all hands on deck was required to get through this difficult period. Among other things, Ramaphosa said the country needed to focus on improving the nation’s food security to withstand these and future shocks. Government would heavily invest in small-scale farmers to grow food.
“We have a strong agricultural sector that continues to grow and create jobs. To further increase agricultural production and strengthen our food sovereignty, we are investing heavily in improving local capacity, supporting commercial and small-scale farmers and helping more people to grow their own food.
Government is also aiming to release state-owned land for agriculture and provide support to more small-scale farmers to expand their businesses and make them commercially successful.