RAIN BRINGS RELIEF TO FARMERS IN SOUTH AFRICA’S NORTH WEST PROVINCE

Farmers in South Africa’s North West Province are hoping that the continued rainfall in the province in the past few days may offer some relief to their livestock.

Most of the farmers have lost livestock because of the five-year-long drought which has gripped some parts of the province.

We had quite good rains in the last months over the large part of the North West province. The river is in flood and there was rain on Christmas day of 100 mm here in the Marico catchment area,” says Daan Van der Merwe, the deputy chairperson of the provincial farmers group Agri Northwest.

“The dam in the Groot Marico that should have closed at the end of this month and now the water level already rose up to 13 per cent (capacity) and it will go up at least to 20 per cent. It is a big difference for the farmers in this area.

Dave Harman, who farms in the Zeerust area, which has large cattle ranches as well as wheat, maize, tobacco and citrus fruit farms, was forced to sell about 60 per cent of his livestock because of the drought. He says the rain has brought some temporary relief.

We are very pleased to have rain but we must be realists and say if there is rain in January, February-March, April then this rain will to a large extent be fruitful. If not, it will dry up and they (the cattle) will die. If there is no rain in January and February this rain won’t help.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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