Farmers in the Free State have begun donating stock feed to other farmers affected by the nationwide drought.
NC Schoombee, who founded the Facebook group “Boere in Nood” (Farmers in Need), says he first noticed the need while driving around to see clients in the Free State and saw three sheep with lambs that had died along a fence, Bloemfontein Courant reported.
“Then I thought to myself, why don’t we start a group so that farmers have a central platform to speak about their problems and find out who they can contact if they have an emergency.
“That’s how we started the Facebook group and it just started to snowball, with everyone starting to communicate via the page and teaming up to help.”
Schoombee said tears streamed down the face of a sheep farmer in Steynsrus when he arrived with enough feed to keep her flock of 600 sheep alive for the next two weeks.
“The tears that streamed down her face and the thanks she gave was quite an eye-opener for me that we can really make a difference if people just start to stand together and help with these things.”
According to Schoombee, the group has managed to secure donations of fodder from farmers in the Eastern Cape.
Bloemfontein businessman Graham Wansbury is one of the people who have donated fodder.
“What I’ve done is I’ve sold all my cattle and I am sitting with about 600 to 700 bales of tef which I am quite prepared to give – not sell, give – to those who are in need.”
Wansbury is urging anyone who has spare feed to share it with desperate farmers.
“I presume for those with cattle, or sheep, or whatever the case may be – it will be very difficult for them to get rid of the food because of the fact that they might need it themselves. But those who do have the food and are not using it, it will absolutely go for a good purpose and I believe it will come back to you…,” he said.
Meanwhile, agricultural company Senwes has also launched a drought disaster relief fund in collaboration with Agri SA. The fund provides a platform for concerned individuals, organisations and businesses to donate funds, which will then be redistributed via area specific Agri SA affiliates.
– Caxton News Service