Letter misses the mark

On your letters page, the missive from Ashley (24 August, pg 8) takes me to task for previously saying I would support any imported product that is cheaper than the local one.Ivan Smith, Joubertina

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The writer misses the mark. Firstly, saying that local farmers receive no subsidies is not correct. There are massive import duties that allow local producers to ask inflated prices; chicken has a R7/ kg import duty on it and more is being asked for. Secondly, asking me to support South African farm produce supposes that I have a choice. If chicken and mutton is imported cheaply it certainly is not sold cheaply, and I have never seen any of those products in the shops.

Finally, why do grain prices follow import parity and mutton and chicken do not? I grew up on a farm and this decade produced broiler chickens but stopped when the local abattoir closed and my small-scale production did not warrant opening one myself; so the price of a chicken is not unknown to me. Most items sold in shops today compete with imported goods, a lot of them against Chinese goods.