There’s no end to the donations of food and other support that has been flowing from the agriculture sector to communities left hungry and destitute since the start of the covid-19 pandemic and resultant economic lockdown.
It is estimated that the sector has contributed at least R400 million worth of food, support and financial contributions since the start of the coronavirus lockdown.
One of the most recent is a donation worth more than R500 000 by the Clover Producers’ Trust and Dairy Farmers SA. Dairy Farmers SA donated dairy products while the trust donated half a million rand that was used to support emerging farmers and various feeding schemes across the KwaZulu-Natal province.
According to Christo van der Rheede, Agri SA’s deputy executive director, farmers and organisations in the agricultural industry have been stepping forward with support for distressed communities for almost three months now. Overall, aid valued at at least R400 million has been donated towards destitute communities during the national lockdown.
Van der Rheede explains that there is an entire logistical value chain that needs to recognised when it comes to food donations. Each phase of the value chain has financial components that add up to the overall number, he said.
“You have to know that there is the transport that must be calculated; there’s the products (food) that must be calculated. Then you must calculate the preparation and packaging, including the planting and the harvesting,” he concluded.
Some of the donations to distraught communities that Food For Mzansi reported on recently include:
- The African Farmers Association of South Africa (Afasa) worked with the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) provincial government to donate 63 cattle for slaughter to help relieve famine in rural communities in KZN.
- Food For Mzansi teamed up with Laastedrif Boerdery and Agri SA to distribute food donations to 800 families in the Western Cape.
- Agri SA, Laastedrift Agri and Agri Western Cape donated fresh produce to community members of Ravensmead in the Western Cape.
CEO of Dairy Farmers of South Africa, Drikus Lubbe, says that the Clover Producers Trust challenged them to donate R500 000 to match a donation made to distraught rural communities in South Africa
“Dairy Farmers SA donated about 17 000 litres of milk. We donated one truck load in KwaZulu-Natal a half a truck load to Gift of the Givers Foundation and we sent another truck load to Uitenhage in the Alexandra region. Overall, we made donations close to the value of R700 000,” he says.
Some of the farmers that work with the Milk Producers Organisation agreed that they will forfeit a portion of their salaries in exchange for milk to donate to people in need, he adds.