DA calls on govt to intervene in citrus import crisis set to affect farmers

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DA calls on govt to intervene in citrus import crisis set to affect farmers

The party on Friday said a decision by the European Union standing committee on plants, animals, food and feed could lead to a loss of millions of rand in income and could potentially result in thousands of job losses.

FILE: Citrus imported from South Africa will now be required to undergo extreme cold treatment to stave off false codling moth contamination. Picture: 123rf.com
  • Democratic Alliance
  • European Union
  • Citrus

CAPE TOWN – The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on government to intervene in a potential crisis set to hit South African citrus farmers and exporters.

The party on Friday said a decision by the European Union standing committee on plants, animals, food and feed could lead to a loss of millions of rand in income and could potentially result in thousands of job losses.

Citrus imported from South Africa will now be required to undergo extreme cold treatment to stave off false codling moth contamination.

This requirement came into effect on Thursday.

The party said these regulations placed a heavier burden on the region despite its already high food production standards.

DA member on the portfolio committee on agriculture, land reform and rural development Noko Masipa said: “Given the country’s minimal incidents over the past three years, President [Cyril] Ramaphosa should argue that South Africa be exempted from the regulations as countries with many more recorded incidents do not have to comply with such regulations.”

Special envoy for the South African Citrus Growers Association’s special envoy for market access and EU matters, Deon Joubert, said the move was discriminatory and did not apply across the board.

“This creates additional costs and infrastructure to be put in and there is no justification for it.”

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