Drought Will Have Disastrous Consequences for Pig Farmers

Drought Will Have Disastrous Consequences for Pig Farmers


Press Release Embargo: None, for immediate release 12 January 2016

Drought will have disastrous consequences for pig farmers

Maize prices rocket, pork prices to follow

The devastating drought gripping South Africa is having a disastrous impact on pork producers and will lead to inevitable increases in the price of pork products. The South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) says even if good rains fall now, it will be too late for many farmers to recover from the knock they are taking.

“Up to 60 percent of pig feed is comprised of maize and because maize farmers have been unable to plant decent crops this season, the price for available yellow maize increased since February 2015 by 70 percent. Many pork producers are in difficulty and are facing financial hardships,” said Simon Streicher, CEO of SAPPO.

Streicher said famers are looking to maintain the same level of production as in the past but with limited, and increasingly expensive, resources.

“Producing the same quality and quantity of pork products in these conditions is a challenge and output will decrease. This will obviously have a domino effect on supply and demand and increases in pork prices are unavoidable. There is no alternative, they have to increase,” said Streicher.

He said the picture is especially bleak for emerging farmers. “They either feed their families or look after their farms. The choice they make is obvious.”

Apart from the drought, other factors such as the weakening rand, unstable electricity supply, and increased labour costs are also adding to the pressures of pork producers.

“SAPPO is doing everything it can to assist farmers in these trying times but, unfortunately, the situation is getting worse, not better. We are really concerned about what’s happening and we doing what we can. The harsh reality, though, is that everyone will feel the consequences at some point, even consumers,” Streicher noted.


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The South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) is the mouthpiece of pork producers in South Africa. The organisation serves the South African pork producer by co-operating within the organised agricultural fraternity and by liaising with sectoral organisations and role-players within the supply chain of the meat industry, government and international interest groups.

SAPPO is a broad-based and dynamic service provider and facilitator, representing and supporting all South Africa’s pig farmers in their quest for profitability and sustainability.

SAPPO serves a small by dynamic industry consisting of:

Approximately 110 400 sows owned by approximately 230 pig farmers,

6 stud breeders, and,

153 registered pig abattoirs, applying modern technology to ensure a streamlined slaughtering process, responsible for the slaughtering of 2.8 million pigs annually.

For more information on SAPPO please visit

Follow us on Twitter on @PorkSouthAfrica

For more information please contact:

Simon Streicher