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SA farmers battle global prices

Agri SA has predicted tough times are ahead for SA farmers.

Farming. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Agri South Africa (Agri SA) said on Monday there are numerous other factors which will make it nearly impossible for farm owners to adequately increase labourers' wages.

The farming organisation has explained that farmers have to keep the prices for their goods relatively low due to tough competition from abroad.

It said this was affecting job creation in the sector.

A study done by the Employment Conditions Commission for the Minister of Labour showed a steady decrease in the net income of many farmers nationally because of an increase in spending on goods and services.

Coupled with severe weather conditions early last year, many crop farmers have been battling and have had to lay off workers.

Agri SA's Theo de Jager added tough international competition was making it difficult for local farmers.

"The agricultural industry is a global industry. We are in in competition with the best farmers out there."

The labour department said many farmers have been struggling financially which has led to few jobs being created in agriculture.