Today's Big Stories

Severe drought in the Western Cape a worry for agriculture sector

The Western Cape has had one of the driest winters in years, causing a great deal of concern for the agriculture sector.

(Also read our article: How Western Cape food crops are being affected by the driest season in years)

Dr Peter Johnston, a climatologist at UCT’s Climate Systems Analysis Group, said the strong El Nino system in the Pacific is not the main cause of the current drought.

It's not looking good for our dams or our agriculture. It is up in the air and we can't make good predictions. Most of our seasonal forecasts have, sadly, had low skill.

Dr Peter Johnston, Climatologist

The sporadic rainfall has not been enough to fill up the reservoirs and secure water for farmers across the province.

Listen to the full conversation (with John Webb standing in) on CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies:

In some areas, wheat farmers said they were experiencing their worst drought since 1957 while others said this was the worst they had had in 75 years.

Fruit farmers in the Ceres region rely on dams - which are currently 40 - 50% full - for water supply.


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