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Blighted crops take heavy toll on prices

Consumers are paying at least 14% more for a basket of food than a year ago after the worst drought in decades contributed to lower agricultural output, research shows. The price of staples such as a 25kg bag of maize meal has jumped 22.3% to R212.98 from R174.15 in June last year, the food basket barometer of the Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action shows.