The Western Cape’s agricultural sector has rallied around those farmers worst affected by the drought.

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, this morning visited a farm in Malmesbury where animal feed was being prepared for dispatch to Klipbrand.

Around 100 tonnes of animal feed was collected from farmers in Bredasdorp, Ceres and Malmesbury. The feed was transported by SAB.

Minister Winde this morning visited a Malmesbury farm to thank the farmers involved for helping others in need.

“This is another great example of partnerships in the agricultural sector. Over the past few weeks, it's been encouraging the see the private sector and fellow farmers joining hands to assist those hardest hit by the drought. I'd like to commend all those involved for their efforts.

“The agriculture sector, through its backward link to agri-processing, is one of the province's key growth sectors. Under a high growth scenario, the agri-processing sector’s Gross Value Add (GVA) could grow from R12 billion to up to R26 billion in the next five years. The agri-processing sector has the potential to offer significant economic opportunities to residents of all skill levels in urban and rural areas.

“Projections show temperatures will continue to rise and there will be a reduction in annual rainfall. We have to adopt smart practices to ensure we can sustain this sector.

“To this end, the Western Cape Government will continue to drive the conservation agriculture approach.  This approach involves minimum soil disturbance, maximum soil cover and crop rotation. As a result of this intervention, the province’s wheat farmers who have adopted it have seen increased production and profit, reduced soil erosion and improved water quality and soil health.”

In December, Minister Winde approved an emergency support package for emerging farmers badly affected by the drought. It was targeted at emerging grain farmers who will receive a maximum of R6500 a month for 6 months to ensure their food security, and to assist them to remain in the sector.

As part of relief measures, where farmers are battling to pay farmworker wages, the support package will provide a subsidy amounting to 70% of the minimum wage, or R1824.75 per month, per employee. This support will be paid to the identified farmworkers for a period of not more than 6 months.

 


For media queries, kindly contact:

Bronwynne Jooste
Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
Western Cape Government
 

Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 060 970 4301
Email: bronwynne.jooste@westerncape.gov.za
Website: www.elsenburg.com
Twitter: bronwynnejooste