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NSW Minister warns drought will drive up food prices

by 5m Editor
16 October 2006, at 12:00pm

AUSTRALIA - New South Wales Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald says the price of basic food is set to rise as farmers struggle to cope with drought.

The ABC reports that new figures from the Department of Primary Industries show that 89% of the state is still in drought.

Overall, it is a slight improvement on last month, when 92% of NSW was drought-declared.

The proportion of the state considered to be on the margins of drought conditions has increased to 8%, up 3 percentage points on last month, while only 2.7% of land in the state is considered satisfactory.

Mr Macdonald says prices of meat, poultry, eggs, milk and flour can all be expected to rise as crops continue to fail and farmers offload stock. He said it would "impact every household in New South Wales with higher food prices, particularly in meat and dairy and poultry products".

Mr Macdonald said widespread crop failures are expected in the Riverina and south-west slopes regions, and in the central and southern regions.

Source: Radio New Zealand

5m Editor