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July 10, 2008

South Africa: High fuel costs dampen tomato farming prospects

Tomato farmers in Limpopo say they have benefited a great deal from land acquired through restitution. Although faced with various challenges, they now have sufficient on which to produce. Black commercial and emerging farmers met in Polokwane to discuss issues and plan the way forward.

Limpopo is responsible for 75% of South Africa's tomato production. The 25% of this is produced by black commercial and emerging farmers. The Limpopo Tomato Growers Association held its annual general meeting, where farmers discussed challenges and possible solutions.

Tomato farming has also felt the impact of rising input costs. The main contributors to this are fuel and fertilizer price increases. Farmers say due to this, the future of tomato farming looks bleak.

The association says its aim is to transform small holder farmers into commercial producers. Through this, they believe that farmers can make a sustainable living through tomato farming.


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