South African farmers are getting the squeeze from the EU, which has lowered its maximum residual levels of pesticide on imported produce, a move that could put South African exports at risk.

Paul Makube, senior agricultural economist at FNB, says if maximum residue levels (MRLs) are too low it becomes unprofitable for farmers, who may lose crops to pests or have to harvest later when there is less residue on the plants.

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