R114 million allocated to help drought-stricken KZN farmers

The majority of the drought relief, which will be available for three months from 30 November 2015, is intended for the province’s smallholder and medium-scale livestock farmers.

The KZN Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (KZN DARD) said that farmers would first have to register to benefit from the aid. They would then have to buy approved inputs from suppliers on the drought-relief database, and claim the purchase costs back from the KZN DARD on a sliding scale basis.

“The subsidy will be capped and will differ for different categories of farmers,” said the KZN Agricultural Union (Kwanalu) that attended a KZN DARD briefing on the drought-relief programme.

According to Kwanalu, KZN’s subsistence and small-scale livestock farmers would be eligible for a 100% rebate on purchases, medium-scale farmers for an 80% rebate, and large-scale farmers for 20%.

The KZN DARD had allocated R60 million of the R114 million for the procurement of inputs for livestock and for water harvesting, R45 million for dam scooping and borehole drilling, and R9 million for an aggressive livestock deworming programme.