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Rising fuel costs hurt farmers

Agri Wes-Cape says farmers are battling to absorb the costs of rising fuel prices.

Agri Wes-Cape says farmers are battling to absorb the costs of rising fuel prices. Picture: SAPA.

CAPE TOWN - Agri Wes-Cape says farmers are battling to absorb the costs of rising fuel prices.

The latest petrol price increase of 39 cents per litre and 24 cents per litre for diesel set for Wednesday will take the fuel price to its highest level ever, at just under R14 a litre.

Agri Wes-Cape says the cost of food items such as potatoes and bread will see massive price hikes over the next few months as a result.

Agri Wes-Cape's Carl Opperman says meat prices will also increase.

"The grain and potato industries are the massive users of fuel. The meat industry uses much less fuel, but they use a lot of fuel traveling from the farm to the abattoir."

Opperman says farmers lose millions each year due to hikes.

"For South Africa alone every increase in fuel hike costs agriculture R10 million per year. That will result in an increase in the cost of grain and potatoes."