Farmers suffer R2bn in drought damages

Farmers in the central part of North West province have suffered damages amounting to almost R2 billion because of the prevailing drought conditions.

According to Beeld, Agri North West CEO Boeta du Toit said that in the western part of the province farmers were even worse off.

“As the harvest comes in, it’s becoming obvious that our farmers are even worse off than we previously thought. In the central part of the province, farmers have lost more than 50% of their maize crop.”

Du Toit said damage to the province’s sunflower crop was about the same, and, in the western parts, many livestock farmers had been forced to reduce their herds at lower prices.

“In addition to the situation with poor or no crops, farmers’ input costs over the past year increased by 19%, not including the more than 50% increase in the minimum wages of farm workers.

“Most towns in rural areas depend on agriculture – it’s the largest generator of jobs in those areas,” he said.

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