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Farmers donate grain seed to colleagues in drought stricken Matzikama

Grain producers in Eendekuil and Darling donated 45 tonnes of wheat, barley and oats seed that were left over after the planting season to producers in Bitterfontein and Nuwerus in the Matzikama district of the Western Cape.

Agri Western Cape has also purchased barley seed for producers in Landplaas and Bitterfontein from the Agri Western Cape drought relief fund and producers in the province have also donated diesel.

Producers in the Matzikama district haven’t had a harvest in five years. Parts of the area have had some rain over the past few weeks and some producers have already started planting the donated seed for grazing for livestock in the summer.

Effects of five years of drought

Jannie Strydom, CEO of Agri Western Cape, said the donations are intended to assist producers whose sustainability is under severe pressure and who no longer have any cash flow. He says drought assistance by Agri Western Cape to the Matzikama district over the past five years has been provided in the form of animal feed, but that producers also need other assistance.

“Producers may be able to deal with one or two years of below-average rainfall, but the effects of five years of drought can probably only be eradicated by five consecutive above-average years,” Strydom said. He added that the entire Matzikama district needs plenty of rain to get out of their drought condition.

Strydom thanked all the producers who contributed seed and diesel to producers in the area.

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