WMC REPORT - Call for Action on Food Prices10 September 2008
SOUTH AFRICA - The meat industry can help to assure stable food prices and change the direction of prices, South Africa's agriculture minister Lulu Xingwana told the World Meat Congress in Cape Town, writes ThePigSite Senior Editor, Chris Harris.
The minister said that fresh meat prices were rising in South Africa and around the world and they were causing problems of affordability among the poorer sections of the world.
Ms Xingwana called on the developed nations to help the developing nations to turn the crisis into an opportunity.
She said that prices had risen in recent months to such a degree that people could not afford to buy meat and meat products and consumption in the developing nations would fall compared to the developed nations.
"There is room for expansion of livestock production to allow access to an affordable protein source," she said.
The minister hit out at what she described as unfair measures restricting South Africa's meat exports.
She said that while the country had been declared foot and mouth disease-free, apart from the Kruger National Park region, restrictions were still placed on meat exports.
Developing countries, such as South Africa, were also suffering from the effects of production subsidies in some countries and she was concerned that the developing countries could become targets for dumping of products, Ms Xingwana said.
"We have to move away from food aid to food security," she added.
And she hit out at the current US Farm Bill for distorting world trade and being a major cause for the collapse of the World Trade Organisation Doha round talks.
ThePigSite News Desk