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Drought crisis: SA’s livestock breeding herds die, red meat prices to rise

Agri SA warned that food production has reached crisis levels as winter approaches.

FILE: A carcas of cattle lost in the drought lie in a field in the Free State. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Agri SA says five percent of South Africa's livestock breeding herds have died during the worst drought in a century and red meat prices are expected to rise towards the end of this year.

Agri SA yesterday warned that food production has reached crisis levels and as winter approaches, serious food shortages are expected.

There are also concerns about the increase in the number of farms being sold due to the dry weather.

Agri SA CEO Omri van Zyl says the import of certain foods could also see prices increase by up to 20 percent due to inflation rates.

"There's an import parity inflation effect on food that we reckon could be between 10 and 20 percent, depending on which commodities we're talking about. Red meat prices will definitely rise in the latter half of the year, if you look at the physical availability of the meat."

WATCH: SA economy suffers as drought continues