South Africa: MEC Alan Winde Welcomes R12 Million Drought Relief From National Government

We welcome the R12 million allocation from the National Government for drought relief, to be used to provide fodder for animals. The drought poses a significant challenge, particularly for emerging farmers.

In many cases, the drought threatened to close smaller-scale agri-enterprises. We are determined to accelerate the pace of successful land reform, and keep emerging farmers in market. That is why in the Western Cape, we have spent R36.5 million on drought relief to farmers.

Part of this was emergency funding so that emerging grain farmers could pay their employees' salaries. The funds were sourced from our own equitable share, a reallocation of the Comprehensive Agriculture Support Programme, and a donation from AgriSA.

We are still experiencing drought conditions in some parts of the Western Cape. The Central Karoo, the West Coast region and parts of the Cape Winelands received isolated rains but remain dry due to below average rainfall overall. It is expected that there will be challenges with grazing for animals during the summer months.

These trends underscore the need for a new approach to resource management. That is why we launched a co-ordinated climate response action plan, Smart Agri, in partnership with the private sector and academia. One of Smart Agri's recommendations is conservation agriculture, where we use innovative methods including minimum tillage and crop rotation.

Our research farm, Langgewens, is showing the positive effect of conservation agriculture and we'll be releasing a report on the situation there in the next few weeks.

Source: Western Cape Economic Development and Tourism.

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