South African farmers could need between R15bn to R20bn to survive the worst drought since 1992.
Executive Director of Agri SA, Omri van Zyl, explained that the situation remained dire, and that humanitarian assistance for those affected, is needed. “Farmers are battling a pretty serious situation, one that will have national consequences.”
He added that if the situation does not change soon, it could have devastating effects on the economy, farmers and the country.
Agri SA seeks donations from the public and private sector after they helped establishing a drought fund. They also explored various commercial means to ensure that farmers had access to credit. This will allow for planting when better weather conditions returned.
Agri SA, along with other role players participated in a task team to formulate a report that could inform further talks.
“In 1992, we needed R3bn to manage us through that drought, in real terms we may now need between R15bn and R20bn,” van Zyl said.
The government added R96.6m to the R352.6m, in November, which was set aside to support the relief efforts. The funding was set aside to be used to purchase 45 tankers for water distribution to affected areas, borehole drilling and rehabilitation and water conservation.
Read the Farming Portal article here.