Drought-stricken Western Cape farmers get fodder to the tune of R17m

The region regularly suffers from devastating spell of drought . AFP/File/ISSOUF SANOGO

The region regularly suffers from devastating spell of drought . AFP/File/ISSOUF SANOGO

In total, fodder vouchers distributed by government across the Western Cape comes to a total value of R17.6 million to support over 1,500 farmers. 

The Western Cape government provided fodder support to the value of R4.2 million to 422 farmers in the Garden Route District Municipality in February, reports Knysna-Plett Herald.

In the Central Karoo, fodder support to 610 farmers to the value of R8.5 million was provided. In total, the department of economic opportunities issued fodder vouchers across the province to a total value of R17.6 million to over 1.500 farmers.

ALSO READ: Farmers left high and dry by drought – survey

According to minister of economic opportunities Beverley Schäfer, a second round of the summer bi-annual veld assessment will take place in the Central Karoo, Eden, and part of the Overberg district from March 5 to 7.

The department said in a statement that support to farmers in the West Coast district, Matzikama and Cederberg would be intensified, while in Swartland, farmers do not require fodder support, according to the latest veld assessment.

The first round of the bi-annual veld assessment was undertaken over a period of three days last week in the West Coast district and the Witzenberg Municipality. The assessment is conducted to inspect veld conditions to determine where drought relief efforts should be directed, and to streamline the disaster response at district offices.

Drought support vouchers have been supplied to help feed these sheep on a farm in Bitterfontein.

Schäfer said the veld assessments, conducted each year in summer and winter, help determine the state of grazing available to farmers in the province and where best to direct support.

Members of the veld assessment team inspect the state of plants and grasses on a farm in Bitterfontein.

“Following the assessment, we will be providing additional support to certain areas. Farmers that I have met with who have received drought aid have all indicated that the support has been instrumental in helping them to continue to farm through the tough drought periods.”

Several areas across the province are still experiencing drought conditions, and now receive monthly drought support in the form of vouchers for animal fodder.

Since 2017, the province has issued R200 million in provincial and national disaster funding to farmers affected by the drought.

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