Is the drought coming for your peanut butter?

Economist at Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz), Wandile Sihlobo has noted the reduction in the planting of groundnuts in South Africa.

He says this is mainly due to drier weather conditions experienced at the start of planting season, the period between October and December 2018.

Sihlobo spoke to Joanne Joseph to share his findings.

He says peanut farmers are experiencing a tough season - they've planted around 19 000 hectares, which is the lowest area on record.

This year we only planted about 19 000 hectares. We are facing a bit of a challenge this time around in terms of the supply but in the near term I would say we are still comfortable because as a country, per year, we need roughly about 80 000 tons or so of peanuts. It looks like our overall production for the year could be at levels around 22 000 tons so that means we will need something to boost our supply.

Wandile Sihlobo, Economist - Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz)

What caused all of this is largely the drought and the guys did not really get to plant much.

Wandile Sihlobo, Economist - Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz)

You will remember that peanuts are largely planted in the North West and Free Sate areas and those are the provinces that were experiencing a bit of dryness going on between October leading up to December, which is the planting period.

Wandile Sihlobo, Economist - Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz)

Wandile says if annual consumption is maintained at past levels, South Africa would have to import over 40 000 tonnes of peanuts.

Click on the link below to hear more from Sihlobo...


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