Funds to be u­sed for a­ni­mal feed

Mossel Bay Advertiser - - News -

"We wel­co­me the R40 mil­li­on in droug­ht re­lief for a­gri­cul­tu­re al­lo­ca­ted by the na­ti­o­nal go­vern­ment. The funds will be u­sed for a­ni­mal feed for li­ves­tock," Min­ster of E­co­no­mic Op­por­tu­ni­ties Alan Win­de said.

For the past fi­ve mont­hs, the We­stern Ca­pe Go­vern­ment has been spen­ding R11 mil­li­on e­ach month of its own funds for a­ni­mal feed to sup­port a­bout 1 300 com­mer­ci­al and smal­l­hol­der far­mers. T­his me­ans the We­stern Ca­pe Go­vern­ment has al­re­a­dy al­lo­ca­ted R59 mil­li­on to droug­ht re­lief o­ver t­his pe­ri­od. A furt­her R7.7 mil­li­on will be spent by the end of Au­gust. T­his in­clu­des R3 mil­li­on for re­mo­ving the sand build-up at the weir of the 24 Ri­vers Ca­nal sy­stem that feeds the Vo­ël­vlei Dam - u­su­al­ly the man­da­te of na­ti­o­nal go­vern­ment. T­his will gre­at­ly im­pro­ve the dam’s ca­pa­ci­ty to cap­tu­re rain wa­ter. As a re­sult of the se­ve­ri­ty of the droug­ht, in 2015 the We­stern Ca­pe De­part­ment of A­gri­cul­tu­re star­ted pro­cee­dings to de­cla­re the worst af­fected re­gi­ons as di­sas­ters. An a­na­ly­sis by e­co­no­mis­ts in the We­stern Ca­pe De­part­ment of A­gri­cul­tu­re found that a 10% re­ducti­on in yields, as a re­sult of the droug­ht, could cost the e­co­nomy R3.2 bil­li­on and pla­ce 17 000 jobs un­der thre­at. Ad­di­ti­o­nal re­se­arch al­so shows that a 30% loss of a­gri­cul­tu­ral wa­ter in so­me of the main ir­ri­ga­ti­on a­re­as sup­p­lied by the T­hee­wa­ters­kloof and Ber­gri­ver wa­ter sy­s­tems could le­ad to los­ses in farm in­co­me to­tal­ling R309 mil­li­on and job los­ses in­vol­ving a­bout 1 700 em­ploy­ees. Win­de said: "The­se are sce­na­ri­os we ha­ve ma­na­ged to di­vert, but we call on We­stern Ca­pe re­si­dents to be mind­ful of their wa­ter usa­ge."

The im­pact of the droug­ht was al­so felt in the ot­her South A­fri­can pro­vin­ces, with a re­cent im­pact as­ses­sment de­ter­mi­ning that at the na­ti­o­nal le­vel the droug­ht has re­sul­ted in a 6% to 7% de­cli­ne in net farm in­co­me.

Due to droug­ht, so­me far­mers ha­ve been for­ced to re­du­ce on-farm acti­vi­ty, par­ti­cu­lar­ly in re­spect of plan­ting. T­his may ha­ve con­tri­bu­ted to slo­wer gro­wth in em­ploy­ment in t­his sec­tor.

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