According to banana farmers on South Africa’s South Coast, the future is uncertain in terms of sales and job provision for their staff. The farmers are faced with a crisis as imported bananas are sold cheaper to the consumer.
Scott Kvalsvig, vice-chairman of the Southern KZN Banana Association acknowledged that local farmers spoke about the issue with government officials during a People’s Parliament site visit more than a month ago. However, they have not received any feedback on the challenges they addressed.
According to Kvalsvig, the situation is still bad, prices are ludicrous at the market and the farmers are still in the same situation: “The price has moved slightly at the farms and this may be because the weather has become hotter and people are eating more bananas. I am not sure, but the money we are making is not close to covering costs of production and I am concerned.”
He recently embarked on a fact-finding mission to KwaMatikwe, Mlalane and other areas and found that the farmers there were removing banana crops because they cannot compete with imports from Mozambique.