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Noordwes-boere op hul knieë oor brandeAgri SA says the devastating effects of continuous fire outbreaks in the Free State, North West and Northern Cape will be felt long after the fires have been extinguished.

“Wildfires can cause great damage to plants, animals and communities and also threaten food security. In response to the destruction of vegetation, emergency response efforts are needed to assist farmers with fodder. The damage to soil health, the disruption of ecosystems and the change in natural fire patterns can have long-lasting consequences,” says Christo van der Rheede, outgoing executive director of Agri SA.

“The recovery process is largely dependent on rainfall. Sufficient rainfall is of key importance for revitalizing vegetation, restoring soil fertility and replenishing water resources. With sufficient rain, the recovery process can be speeded up considerably.”

According to Van der Rheede, these devastating fires hit the agricultural sector at a time when farmers are already facing tremendous challenges, including load shedding, deteriorating infrastructure, rising labour and input costs, and threats to their rural security.

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