Today's Big Stories

South Africa facing a maize crisis - Agbiz

Grain SA has warned that only 50% of the land ordinarily used for maize cultivation in South Africa has been used as a result of the worst drought in decades.

According to Grain SA, South Africa may need to import as much as five million tonnes of maize this year, roughly half of the country's requirements.

CEO of Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz), Dr John Purchase on Tuesday said that the crisis will severely impact food prices and consumer purchasing decisions.

Listen to the full conversation from The Redi Tlhabi Show:

The first crop estimate is not yet out and we have asked for it to be released at the end of January due to the exceptional situation we are in.

Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz

2015 was the driest year on record in South Africa since 1904.

Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz

We have to look at the preceding years. Over a four year period, it ranks the driest it has been since 1931 to 1935.

Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz

This is a catastrophic drought which is going to cause a lot of harm to the agricultural sector and South African consumers.

Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz

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