'Do or die' for KZN dairy farmers

Escalating input costs and the current low return on milk have placed dairy farmers in KwaZulu-Natal in a financial crisis, the Mercury newspaper reported on Friday.

Derek Broom, a dairy farmer and consultant said: “It is going to be a period of do-or-die.”

Although consumers still paid the same price for milk, at the beginning of this month farmers received on average 30 cents less per litre than in September.

There will be an additional 30-cent-a-litre reduction next month.

To add to this, the cost of fertiliser and feed has increased by 100% over the past year.

“Surviving in business will be difficult. Surviving out of business will be more difficult,” Broom said.

If farmers did not strive for improved efficiency, they would begin leaving the industry, which would result in milk shortages and increases in consumer prices.

“We need to get legislative control of subsidised or dumped imports. The government must assist dairy farmers with subsidised import control and tariffs where applicable,” he said.—Sapa


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