File photo: African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town – Drought support to farmers in the West Coast District, Matzikama and Cederberg will be intensified, while in Swartland, farmers do not require fodder support, said the provincial department of economic opportunities.

The first round of the bi-annual summer season veld assessment was undertaken over three days last week in the West Coast District and Witzenberg.

During the assessments, veld conditions in Swartland were deemed to be in a good state and farmers in the area will not require fodder support.

However, in the northern parts of the West Coast District, Matzikama and Cederberg, there has been a deterioration in conditions and fodder support will now be issued monthly, instead of every second month.

The assessment is conducted to inspect veld conditions to determine where drought relief efforts should be directed and to streamline the disaster response at district offices.

Economic Opportunities MEC Beverley Schäfer said: “The veld assessment, which we conduct in summer and winter each year, helps us to determine the state of grazing available to farmers in the province and where best to direct support.

“Following the assessment, we will be providing additional support to certain areas.

“Farmers that I have met with who have received drought aid, have all indicated that the support has been instrumental in helping them to continue to farm through the tough drought periods,” she said.

Several areas across the province are still experiencing drought, and now receive monthly support in the form of vouchers for animal fodder.

The province has, since 2017, issued R200 million in provincial and national disaster funding to support farmers in the province through the drought.

The department said during the assessment tour, it emerged that communications and co-ordination between programmes had significantly improved since last year.

Support from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Provincial Disaster Management Centre is also being received to improve communications.

The second round of the summer bi-annual veld assessment will take place in the Central Karoo, Eden and part of the Overberg District from March 5 to 7.

Cape Times