Drought

Rain brings some relief to Western Cape farmers

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Agri Western Cape says good rains and heavy snow has placed the industry in the province in a much better position than last year.

CEO of the organisation, Carl Opperman says although dams are filling up in the province, the drought is far from over.

Ground water was used extensively as a result of the drought, and needs to recharged.

The area from Bredasdorp to Mossel Bay and inland to the Karoo is still in a dire situation.

Opperman says as a result of the drought, many farmers are still in financial dire straits and many face cash flow problems.

Opperman says there is an urgent need for all stakeholders, including government to look at setting up an insurance plan or programme to assist farmers when serious crises hit.

“We’ve got assistance on the live stock side, but there’s no assistance for your horticulture and viticulture, people or your grain farmers at this point in time. We got to really look at it.”

“The upcoming farmers are still in dire straits because there is no capital or balance sheet to back them up. So we must also look at ways and means to assist up and coming farmers. We need to find ways to sustain them and take them further when we face crisis like this,” adds Opperman.

 

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Drought crippling agricultural sector: Agri Western Cape

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Farmers’ organisation Agri Western Cape says the drought-stricken agricultural sector in the province could take up to 10 years to recover.

The province is experiencing the worst drought in a century, with dire consequences for farmers.

Dams are at 31%, with Level 6 water restrictions in place, requiring the sector to reduce its consumption by 60%.

Up to 400 000 permanent and seasonal jobs are on the line if taps run dry.

Agri Western Cape Cape CEO, Carl Opperman says good periods of rainfall and interventions from national government, including disaster relief, will help rehabilitate the sector.

“In 2015, we raised the flag to government to say we are going into a very dry cycle and we’ve got to have a good look at this. The total effect of this is going to be billions that we need to put in. It’s not only in year one or year two after good rains that this is going to get fixed. It’s going to take us between five and 10 years until we are back to normal and that has to be financed.”

The post Drought crippling agricultural sector: Agri Western Cape appeared first on SABC News – Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader..

Source: SABCNews

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