Drought: Agri Western Cape convenes meeting with financial institutions, agri businesses

AGRI WES-KAAP BELÊ GESPREK MET FINANSIËLE INSTELLINGS, LANDBOUBESIGHEDE, OM DROOGTE TE BESTUUR
Landbou in die Wes-Kaap het ‘n langtermynplan nodig om die sektor in die provinsie volhoubaar te hou.

Só het dr Ivan Meyer, Wes-Kaap se minister van landbou, gesê tydens ‘n gesprek wat Agri Wes-Kaap dié week met finansiële instellings en landbou-besighede belê het om die risiko’s rondom die huidige droogtesituasie, sowel as ‘n werkbare model vir die bestuur van die voortslepende droogte, te bespreek.

Mnr Jannie Strydom, uitvoerende hoof van Agri Wes-Kaap, sê met die droogte wat in sekere dele van die provinsie al in ‘n vyfde jaar is, met produsente van langtermyngewasse, volstruise en wild wat nie vir die regering se droogtehulp kwalifiseer nie en met humanitêre hulp aan droogtegeteisterde plaasgemeenskappe wat nou krities nodig is, is dit noodsaaklik dat alle rolspelers moet saamwerk om die ekonomiese realiteit wat die droogte vir landbou-produsente meegebring het, te bestuur.

“Ons gaan anders oor rampe soos droogte moet begin dink om die negatiewe domino-uitwerking daarvan pro-aktief te bestuur. Die bydrae van die landbou tot die Wes-Kaap se ekonomie is te belangrik om nié ‘n volhoubare sektor te hê nie, en ‘n gesamentlike bestuurstrategie tussen alle rolspelers om die huidge omstandighede in die provinsie te bestuur, is nou krities nodig,”
het hy gesê.

Tydens die gesprek het minister Meyer ook onderneem of fondse te bewillig vir voortgesette navorsing met betrekking tot die invloed van klimaatsverandering op landbou in die Wes-Kaap. “Hierdie is nie net ‘n droogte nie, dit is ‘n nasionale klimaatsramp,” het minister Meyer gesê.

AGRI WESTERN CAPE CONVENES MEETING WITH FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS, AGRI BUSINESSES, TO MANAGE THE DROUGHT
Agriculture in the Western Cape needs a long-term plan to keep the sector sustainable.

So said Dr Ivan Meyer, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, at a discussion that Agri Western Cape convened with financial institutions and agribusinesses on Wednesday 20 November. The aim of the meeting was to discuss the risks with regards to the ongoing drought in the province, and to seek a functional model for managing the drought.

Mr Jannie Strydom, Chief Executive Officer of Agri Western Cape, said with the drought in certain parts of the province is now in its fifth year, with producers of long-term crops, ostriches and game that don’t qualify for government drought assistance, and with humanitarian help to drought-stricken farming communities that has now become critical, all role players need to work together to manage the economic realities of the drought.

“We have to start thinking differently about disasters such as drought in order to manage the negative domino effect thereof proactively. The contribution of agriculture to the Western Cape economy is too important not to have a sustainable sector. A joint management strategy between all role players has become critically important to deal with the current circumstances in the province,” he said.

During the discussion, Minister Meyer also undertook to allocate funds for continuous research regarding the influence of climate change on agriculture in the Western Cape. “This is not merely a drought, it is a national climatic disaster,” he said.

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