The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has set aside R51 million to assist small-scale, communal and emerging farmers affected by the current drought.
MEC Joy Matshoge made the announcement in Polokwane on Tuesday when she informed the media about her department’s progress in dealing with the matter.
The package includes rehabilitation and drilling of boreholes to assist the livestock farmers. Small scale and emerging livestock farmers will be given fodder as a way of assisting them. The fodder will be supplied and delivered to all five districts in the province.
“The province has re-prioritised R51 million as an emergency relief and the authorisation has been granted in order to assist the drought affected communal, subsistence and smallholder livestock farmers. Assistance will be in form of supply and delivery of livestock fodder worth R20 million, and R31 million will be used for emergency supplies of livestock water, drilling and equipping of boreholes,” Matshoge said.
Fodder has already been supplied to depots in Musina, Malamulele, Senwabarwana, Syferkuil, Ramokgopa, Witpoort, Lephalale, Dwaalboom, Mogalakwena, Mahwelereng, Phokoane, Elandsdoring and Strydkraal.
Matshoge also said that an additional R54 million has been requested in order to subsidise commercial farmers towards the purchase of livestock fodder. “We are worried about farmers’ distress emanating from the effects of drought on both animal and crop production. The general condition of all livestock in the province is deterioting and this impacts on the economy as the valued of the livestock has already depreciated. Commercial farmers will be subsidised by 50% in line with the national framework,” she informed.
Asked what will happen if the drought situation that has already engulfed the province worsens Matshoge responded that Limpopo will continue to assist the drought stricken farmers with emergency livestock fodder for a period of six months and will constantly monitor the situation until full recovery has been realised. “We also urge farmers to visit our provincial agricultural deports to register on time so that they can assisted,” she concluded.
Story: Herbert Rachuene
Photo: Joy Matshoge, MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development during drought media briefing.