South Africa’s flood may cost growers US $145 million

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South Africa’s flood may cost growers US $145 million

Extensive flooding in South Africa may have caused 1 billion rand (US $145 million) in losses for the country’s growers of grapes, corn and sunflowers, according to statistics from Agri SA quoted by Bloomberg Businessweek.

The high water has affected seven of the country’s nine provinces, the website said. The Agriculture Department has estimated that 20,000 hectares of farmland have been affected, according to Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

One farmer on the Orange River told Radio Netherlands that he was able to harvest table grapes, but the fruit for wine and raisins is flooded.

“We also managed to pick 10 hectares of sultanas and wine grapes before the flood reached its peak over the weekend,” Coetzer Hanekom of ‘Die Mas’ farm is quoted as saying. “Those fruits will be sold at a loss of, I estimate, 30% compared to last year as we harvested them too early,” he explained.

At least 40 people have died nationwide since the heavy rains began in December, according to media reports.

Flooding is also affecting growers in Brazil, according to Bloomberg. Officials are bracing for big increases in food prices as water has damaged fruits and vegetables. At least 741 people have died in the deluges there, according to media reports.


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