About one thousand one hundred and fifteen farmers located in critical and extremely critical drought-stricken areas eligible for drought relief have received fodder support into the value of R12.2 million to help with agricultural activities within the Western Cape of South Africa.

The Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Ivan Meyer, revealed that based on the latest bi-annual veld assessment completed in March 2021, the Department of Agriculture categorized the veld conditions as critical or extremely critical in parts of the Central Karoo, Garden Route, and West Coast Districts.

“The veld conditions in many parts of the Central Karoo have deteriorated. The veld in Little Karoo is currently in an arid condition, with critically dry areas. Conditions in the Matzikama Local Municipality have not changed much since the 2020 assessment. The area is still in extremely critical condition. The veld condition in the Mossel Bay and Hessequa Local Municipalities is currently in a dry condition having received below-average rainfall” he said.

Highlighting the potential time for recovery, Meyer pointed out that the veld will need at least three years of above-average rainfall for it to recover from the devastating drought effect. Proffering solutions, Meyer advised farmers to adopt sustainable farming practices while the department provides support via necessary means like workshops to help them.

“In the interim, we encourage farmers to adopt sustainable farming practices. Further support is provided by offering workshops to assist farmers in introducing disaster risk reduction methodologies and practices on their farms. By doing so, we prepare farmers for future disaster episodes impacted by climate change” he said.