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Landbouers nie alleen in droogte nie | Farmers are not facing the drought alone

English to follow..

31 Oktober 2019

Agri SA staan saam met elke landbouer, plaaswerker en landbougemeenskap wat onder die uitmergelende droogte in Suid-Afrika gebuk gaan. In die afgelope vier jaar is duisende ton voer, asook kontant en humanitêre hulp, aan boere en landbougemeenskappe regoor die land gelewer.

“Sonder Agri SA en ander vennote se hulp sou landbouers, hulle gesinne en plaaswerkers in die Noord-Kaap raadop gewees het,” sê Willem Symington, Agri Noord-Kaap Adjunk-president en die Hoof van Agri SA se nuutgestigte Rampbestuursentrum.

“Die droogte en droogtehulpverlening aan landbouers, plaaswerkers en landbougemeenskappe is nie meer tydelik van aard nie,” sê Omri van Zyl, Agri SA Uitvoerende Direkteur. “Die impak van klimaatsverandering kan ons nie ignoreer nie, maar die huidige droogte blyk egter op die stadium ’n normale sikliese klimaatsverskynsel te wees. Kontantvloei- en humanitêre-probleme is wel nou aan die orde van die dag.”

Agri SA het juis om dié rede ’n rampbestuursentrum op die been gebring. Die sentrum sal spesifiek fokus op rampe en die mitigering daarvan vir landbouers. ’n Impakstudie van die droogte in al nege provinsies wat strek oor al die bedrywe heen, word tans onderneem. Die inligting sal gebruik word in samesprekings met rolspelers om doelgerigte planne vir hulpverlening te maak.

“Ons werk ook nou saam met die banksektor en die landbou-waardeketting om gunstige kredietvoorwaardes en vergunnings vir landbouers te beding,” sê Symington. “Ons wil ook betrokke raak by ’n studentehulpfonds vir landbouers wat help om skoolfondsbydraes, universiteits- en koshuisgelde te betaal”. 

“Beleidsonsekerheid maak dit vir landbouers en die waardeketting nog moeiliker om finansieel lewensvatbaar te wees,” waarsku Van Zyl. “Waar boere swaar kry sal landboubesighede en ander waardekettingspelers ook nie meer winsgewend wees nie.”

 Agri SA se provinsiale affiliasies werk nou saam met die provinsiale regerings. In die Noord-Kaap is daar reeds R30 miljoen van die regering vir droogtehulp toegeken en in die Wes-Kaap is daar reeds R50 miljoen toegeken.

“Dit is egter nie genoeg nie,” sê Symington. “Ons skattings is dat daar ten minste R425 miljoen nodig sal wees om die droogte in die Noord-Kaap alleen te mitigeer.”

 Plattelandse ekonomieë wat grootliks op die landbou-ekonomie steun is op die rand van ineenstorting. Daar is ook groeiende kommer omdat die graanproduserende somerreënvalstreke en sekere vrugtegebiede nog nie genoeg reën ontvang het nie. Dit het ’n langtermyn impak wat voedselsekerheid in die weegskaal kan plaas.

“Sedert 2015 het Agri SA se Droogterampfonds meer as R20 miljoen ingesamel,” sê Christo van der Rheede, Agri SA Adjunk-Uitvoerende Direkteur. “Die fonds is gebruik vir kort-termynverligting wat insluit voer, die vervoer van voer en kospakkies. Dit is egter net ’n druppel in die emmer. Landbouers, veral dié in permanente gewasgebiede, het oorbruggingsfinansiering dringend nodig.”

“Ons harte gaan uit na elkeen wat deur die droogte geraak word – praktiese oplossings is nou nodig om boerderygemeenskappe by te staan,” sê Van Zyl.

Op 12 November 2019 sal Agri SA ’n mediakonferensie by ons kantore in Centurion hou waar ons die jongste verwikkelinge, feite en doelgerigte planne sal deurgee. Meer inligting sal later verskaf word.

Navrae:

Willem Symington

Hoof: Agri SA Rampbestuursentrum

(S) 084 592 7474

Christo van der Rheede

Agri SA Adjunk-uitvoerende direkteur

(S) 083 380 3492

Omri van Zyl

Agri SA Uitvoerende Direkteur

(S) 082 417 5724

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31 October 2019

Agri SA stands with every farmer, farm worker and farming community that is suffering as a result of the devastating drought in South Africa. During the past four years, thousands of tons of feed, as well as cash and humanitarian aid, had been provided to those affected across the country.

“Without the help of Agri SA and other partners, our farmers, their families and farm workers in the Northern Cape would have been devastated,” says Willem Symington, Agri Northern Cape Deputy President and Head of Agri SA’s newly established Disaster Management Centre.

“The drought, as well as drought relief for farmers, farm workers and farming communities, is no longer of a temporary nature,” says Omri van Zyl, Agri SA’s Executive Director. “We cannot ignore the impact of climate change; however, the current drought at this point seems to be a normal cyclic climatic phenomenon. Cash flow and humanitarian problems are now the norm.”

For this reason, Agri SA has established a Disaster Management Centre. This centre will focus specifically on disasters and the mitigation thereof for farmers. A study is being conducted of the impact of the drought in all nine provinces and across all commodities.  The information will be used in discussions with role players with a view to targeted assistance.

“We work closely with the banking sector and the agricultural value chain to negotiate favourable credit terms and concessions for farmers,” says Symington. “We also want to become involved in a student support fund that will help with the payment of school, university and hostel fees.”

“Policy uncertainty makes it even more difficult for farmers and the value chain to remain financially viable,” warns Van Zyl. “Where farmers suffer hardship, agribusinesses and other value chain players will also no longer be profitable.”

 Agri SA’s provincial affiliates work closely with the provincial governments. In the Northern Cape, the government has already allocated drought relief to the value R30 million, while R50 million has already been allocated in the Western Cape.

“This, however, is not enough,” says Symington. “We estimate that at least R425 million will be needed to mitigate the drought in the Northern Cape alone.”

 The collapse of rural economies, which rely primarily on the agricultural economy, is imminent. There is also an increasing concern that grain-producing summer rainfall regions and certain fruit production areas have not yet received adequate rain. This has a long-term impact that could put food security at risk.”

“Since 2015, Agri SA’s Drought Disaster Fund has raised more than R20 million,” says Christo van der Rheede, Agri SA’s Deputy Executive Director. “The fund is used for short-term relief, which includes amongst other animal feed, transport and food parcels. However, this is a mere drop in the ocean. Farmers, especially those in permanent crop areas, urgently require bridging finance.”

“Our hearts go out to everyone who is affected by the drought – we now need practical solutions to assist farming communities,” says Van Zyl.

On 12 November 2019, Agri SA will hold a media conference at its offices in Centurion where we will inform the media of the latest developments, facts and purposeful plans. More information will be provided later.

Enquiries:

Willem Symington

Head: Agri SA Disaster Management Centre

(M) 084 592 7474

Christo van der Rheede

Agri SA Deputy Executive Director

(M) 083 380 3492

Omri van Zyl

Agri SA Executive Director

(M) 082 417 5724