The Western Cape department of agriculture has distributed millions of rand worth of fodder to farmers who are still facing drought conditions in parts of the province.
The department said yesterday that large parts of the Western Cape, specifically the Central Karoo, Little Karoo and the northern parts of the West Coast, are still experiencing drought conditions despite some recent winter rains.
In response, the department has disbursed drought support totalling R48.1 million to livestock farmers in the worst affected areas in these regions. This support consisted of over 4 000 fodder vouchers between April and June this year, and was based on a provincial risk assessment.
Experts do provincial risk assessments by evaluating the natural veld conditions, as veld condition is an excellent indicator of the current drought status and areas in need of support. Areas with below-average rainfall predicted for the next eight months were prioritised.
Supported throughout the financial year
The department also lent support in other instances during the 2021-2022 financial year:
- R12 million in fodder was allocated to support farmers in the Central Karoo, Garden Route, Overberg, Cape Winelands and the Matzikama area in the West Coast District.
- R235 000 in seed support to 22 farmers in the Garden Route and Central Karoo District.
- R29 million for the removal of invasive alien plants.
- R11 million was allocated for river protection works to ensure water security and to protect viable agricultural land and ensure ecosystem functioning.
- Fencing projects totalling R8.75 million are currently being implemented in the Central Karoo, Garden Route and the West Coast Districts.
The department says it is committed to supporting farmers in drought-stricken areas. The nature of the support will be determined by the outcome of future provincial risk assessments.
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