14 MILLION RANDS FOR DROUGHT RELIEF
By: Sthabiso Mdledle
The provincial Department of Agriculture has offered R14.7 million to be used for drought relief to small-scale and subsistence farmers in five provinces which are currently worst affected by drought.
This is according to a statement released by the Presidency on Wednesday, after reports from agricultural sectors were received from the Free State, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West and KwaZulu-Natal.
MEC for KZN Agriculture and Rural development Cyril Xaba said in a statement, “To ensure drought impact mitigation, the department continues to monitor conditions in the provinces and will issue updated early warning information to the sector”.
These include strategies farmers should consider in planning their activities when dry conditions are forecasted.
This comes after the country has been experiencing drought causing shortage of water for small communities as well as farmers who depend on water for their crops.
Mathuba Duma, who owns a small farm in Thafeni, south coast of Durban with crops and animals, said that he is happy that the government is doing something about the crisis, however he does not think it will solve the problem.
“As much as this initiative will assist, the best thing that could happen at this stage, is rain which will ensure that our harvests are of good quality, for now everything is dying, and we are praying for heavy rains,” said Duma.
He added that the aid from the government will go a long way especially in animal feed.
Declared drought disaster stricken provinces will have to submit their disaster funding requests to the National Treasury through the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC).