Farmers protest as food prices fall

Farmers are furious over the plummeting value of their crops, with some demanding the government provide them with a rebate.

In the last 24 hours, the value of a farmer’s crop has fallen by as much as 15 per cent, and a new report has found that up to 15 per.cent of the country’s agricultural produce could be at risk.

The farmers’ group National Farmers Union (NFU) said farmers were already receiving letters and calls to demand compensation from the government for the loss of their product.

They have been protesting in front of the prime minister’s office since Monday morning.

“There is a great deal of anger from farmers over the price of their produce,” said the union’s executive director, Mark Wills.

But Mr Wills said the government needed to step up to the plate and offer farmers compensation.

There is no evidence that the prices are falling because of climate change, he said.

Some farmers have already seen prices fall from around $US300 per kilogram to $US170.

More than 60 per cent of the farm market has already been hit, the NFU said.

The NFU and the National Farmers Association (NFAA) are in a dispute over the timing of the announcement.

The NFA is calling for a price freeze, while the NFAA is seeking a freeze and a price reduction.

National Farmers Union president Mark Wicks said farmers are furious about the fall in value of the agricultural commodities, including wheat and barley, and are demanding compensation.

He said the NFA had already received a letter from the Agriculture Department, but it was too early to comment on whether that was the source of the latest letter.

A report published by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Water said there was a 70 per cent drop in prices over the last year in wheat, and up to 40 per cent in barley.

“It’s clear that this is the first price drop in the country since the climate change action plan was announced in December 2015,” Mr Wicks told ABC Radio.

“The farmers are very concerned about this.”

Farmers protest over price of food The NFU is protesting at the Prime Minister’s Office, and is also organising a rally outside the White House on Monday.

The group is also demanding a price increase and a freeze on the price for milk and other agricultural commodities.

It is also calling for the cancellation of all state-backed loans to farmers.

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