TLU/TAU SA today launched a drought campaign urging the government to offer farmers’ drought relief without any prejudice.
“In districts like Fraserburg in the Karoo (Northern Cape), where the drought has been wreaking destruction for three years, the situation has surpassed the critical stage,” said Louis Meintjes, president of TLU/TAU SA. “We receive messages from Graaff-Reinet, Murraysburg and Aberdeen begging for feed for cattle, sheep and goats. There is no grazing left.”
The drought forces farmers to cull their animals because there is no feed, and the animals are suffering. Crop farmers have accumulated so much debt following significantly below average yields for up to five years, financiers are foreclosing on their properties. They have to sell their implements simply to stay alive.
“Yet, still no districts have been declared disaster areas and drought relief is provided selectively, mostly to emerging farmers. It is unacceptable and cruel.”
With this campaign, the government is urged to – like the drought – not discriminate when it comes to drought relief. South Africans can contribute to TLU/TAU SA’s Drought Fund by supporting this campaign as well.
Especially during this destructive drought, TLU/TAU SA acts as a middleman to negotiate shared risk management with all members of the value chain so that farmers can get on their feet again. TLU/TAU SA also provides funds to co-operative stores to supply drought feed directly to farmers to save money otherwise spent on transport and logistics. Local farmers’ unions in the TLU/TAU SA structure are also working together to provide feed and food to farmers’ communities.
“Just this weekend we witnessed farmers from Williston in the Northern Cape queuing kilometres far to receive donated feed and food for their families and workers,” said Meintjes. “Big, burly farmers stood there crying from gratitude and despondency. We will continue to support farmers, but we do need help from outside traditional agriculture structures.”
Support the campaign by following this link: https://www.tlu.co.za/en/drought/