'Lingering drought causing farmers to shut down farms'

According to research by AgriSA, in the Eastern Cape, farmers are facing the triple financial threat the drought, land expropriation without compensation as well as veld fires.

The organisation on Friday revealed that 31 000 jobs have been lost in the sector since January 2018 and seven out of ten farmers are struggling with a bleak financial future ahead.

This could impact food security in South Africa?

Addressing the issues that the agricultural sector is facing, AgriSA CEO Omri van Zyl says there was a recovery after the 2015/2016 drought caused the maize crop went down to 7, 5 million tons for that year.

READ: Here is what Agri SA and Cosatu expect from Mboweni's #MTBPS2018

What a lot of farmers have done is reduce their stock, their herds and they have had to get extended credit. And with the drought lingering on this year, a lot of farmers are the end of the road.

Omri van Zyl, AgriSA CEO

He adds that there is a real concern that many farmers will not be able to continue farming if something doesn't shift.

There is nothing we can do about the climate and in an advanced economy, there would have been a buffer for farmers to help them through this period but unfortunately. We don't have that in South Africa.

Omri van Zyl, AgriSA CEO

He adds that because of the recent outbreak of foot and mouth disease, farmers cannot export meat.

The drought has caused a lot of farmers to sell their livestock at cheaper prices. The price of beef and mutton has gone down significantly by 33% and this is a massive blow to their income statement. That is the challenge a lot of farmers are facing at the moment.

Omri van Zyl, AgriSA CEO

Listen below to the full interview:


This article first appeared on 702 : 'Lingering drought causing farmers to shut down farms'


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