Rising fuel prices to hit farmers hard

The increase, which came into force last week, is the fifth of the year, with petrol and diesel both shooting up by 50 cents a litre ‘ the largest single increase in recent years.

The fishing industry is hunkering down, predicting “millions of dollars” in extra running costs, while transport companies anticipate the increase will add 10 percent to their input costs.

The ripple effect is being felt across the board, with the prices of almost everything from transport to basic commodities and rent also going up.

Fuel on average made up 15 percent of the annual operating costs for farmers, Sakkie Coetzee, executive manager of the Namibia Farmers’ Union (NAU), told The Namibian yesterday.

“A fuel hike of 50 cents per litre, which we experienced with the latest diesel and petrol price increases, pushes up the operating costs for a farmer as high as 20 percent, in other words one-fifth of his overall operating expenses,” the NAU executive manager said.

He said the ever-increasing fuel price spiral constantly put the net income of farmers across the board under pressure. “Although beef and mutton prices increased this year, allowing farmers a little profit margin, the last two fuel hikes practically cancelled these profits for them,” he said. Crop producers were even harder hit, Coetzee said.

“The increased diesel price is a much higher input cost for them than for the livestock farmer,” Coetzee told The Namibian. The fishing industry is also reeling under the weight of the hikes. Fishing trawlers mainly use diesel and fuel costs were the highest expense when it came to annual running costs, Volker Kuntzsch, managing director of Hangana Seafood, one of Namibia’s leading fishing companies at Walvis Bay, told The Namibian yesterday. ‘ The Namibian

August 2006
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