In June and July 2022, South Africans experienced some of the worst load shedding since 2019. Unfortunately, extended power outages have had a profound impact on food waste. Furthermore, the broader impact that load shedding has on South Africa’s agricultural sector will continue to compound rising food prices.
That is why South African households and businesses need to consider alternative solutions to preserving food, given that load shedding is predicted to persist into the country’s foreseeable future.
Mustafa Soylu, CEO of Defy Appliances, has become acutely aware of the role that a reliable power supply has on food preservation within households as well as on cold chain businesses and producers. “Electricity is of equal importance in the post-harvest sector, as the long-term quality and safety of food products depends on accurate and consistent temperature management throughout the process. When the process is interrupted, the product quality level decreases, and it can no longer be sold as premium grade, or it must be thrown away due to food safety concerns. This then results in food producers losing money.”
According to AgriSA, load shedding has made a significant impact on the farming sector by contributing to rising inflation, disrupting planting schedules, increasing the cost of production, and adding a higher level of risk to farming operations. This, in turn, will serve to exacerbate the global hike in food prices, which has broader implications for food security in South Africa.