Wednesday , June 16 2021

SA-farmers raise alarm on a constant drought threat, seeking help

South African farmers report a crisis crisis as a constant drought and hot weather threatens cultivations and livestock only three years after the country has fought with the worst drought recorded.

As much as 60% of available land has been planted this season and these crops are threatened by heat stress, according to Lobia group Grain SA.

The country will need to import yellow maize and there is a possibility that it will have a shortage of the capsule white in spite of a great transfer of the past season, the general executive officer Jannie de Villiers told reporters during a short Friday.

"If we do not rain this weekend in some of the areas, most of these plants will die," he said. "This will put South Africa in a very hard situation."

Farmers have not yet recovered from the 2015-16 season, De Villiers said. The corn production that year was injured from the worst drought, since records began over a century.

The Agricultural Chamber of the country is talking with government, banks and companies on support for the industry, the group said Friday. December survey showed 31,000 jobs and R7bn was lost as a result of the drought that has a "devastating effect" on crops, said the room.

"As a situation stands, we will lose farmers, we will lose livestock," said Gerhard Schutte, the head of the Association of Red Meat Producers in the country. "We need dry help. If this aid does not exist before the winter, we really have serious problems."

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