AgriSA is urging the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department to pull up its socks in addressing the looming drought crisis, which the organisation says risks destroying food security for the country.
According to AgriSA executive director Omri van Zyl, the current drought has affected more than 37% of SA’s rural communities with substantial negative effects on agricultural production.
On Wednesday, the organisation also released its report on the state of drought in the country.
“Real agricultural output was 9.2% lower in the first half of 2019 than in the corresponding period of 2018. The drought conditions of 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2019 have left many maize producers in the North West and parts of the Free State in a very challenging environment. In these years, produces not only suffered substantial yield losses, but several producers could also not plant their intended maize area,” the report reads.
The report said this has placed increased financial strain on farmers who were getting more indebted.