R14 million drought relief for small scale farmers

Provincial agricultural departments have provided R14,7 million in drought relief assistance to small-scale and subsistence farmers in the five provinces currently worst affected by drought‚ according to the department of agriculture.

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The funds will be used for animal feed and water and for intensifying awareness campaigns.

The five provinces are the Free State, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West and KwaZulu-Natal.

The provincial agricultural departments submitted their declaration requests to the Provincial Disaster Management Centers in accordance with the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002).

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To date, declaration confirmations have been received from the North West and Free State, while the process is still ongoing in the other provinces.

The drought disaster stricken provinces will submit their disaster funding requests to the National Treasury through the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC).

In the meantime, the department said that it has approached the Industrial Development Corporation and the Land Bank for possible assistance. Both indicated that they have plans to assist affected farmers. The plans include providing soft loans.