#SADrought: Only 50% of land used for maize being utilised

Grain SA says it's now too late for heavy rains to improve the situation due to the worst drought in decades.

FILE. Grain SA has warned that only 50 percent of the land ordinarily used for maize cultivation in South Africa has been utilised due to the worst drought in decades. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Grain SA has warned that only 50 percent of the land ordinarily used for maize cultivation in South Africa has been utilised due to the worst drought in decades.

It says it's now too late for heavy rains to improve the situation.

Grain SA has estimated that maize imports will range between 5 and 6 million tons this year at a cost of between R17 billion and R20 billion.

Due to the falling rand and low production the price of maize has also increased.

Grain SA economist Wandile Sihlobo says this will be passed on to consumers.

"About 50 percent will actually be transferred directly to some of the retail products like maize meal."

LISTEN: 702 host John Robbie spoke to Senior Economist at Grain SA Wandile Sihlobo about how the worst drought in more than a century is set to affect food and meat prices in South Africa.