Agri SA says it has no record of farmers who were assisted with drought relief through the R2.5 billion mentioned by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation Address (Sona).
The organisation says most farmers had to get loans from First Land Bank to ensure that they could survive the drought conditions.
Agri SA’s President Johannes Moller says they have approached the Agriculture Department for an outline of how the R2.5 billion was calculated.
“Farmers from all walks of life have pressed us for help because there was no help coming from the government.”
Moller says the president’s announcement that the Land Expropriation Bill will again be assessed in Parliament shows uncertainty on the part of government.
“It’s completely inextricable to us how the people who wrote this couldn’t even coordinate it.”
Agri SA says it is hoping to get to the bottom of this issue.
The agricultural sector was considering the adoption of smart disaster aid after sections of the industry were brought to their knees by the prolonged drought, Agri SA executive director Omri van Zyl said on Monday. “By ‘smart’ we mean that we take small bites at it to help ourselves over the next few years,” Van Zyl said.
The plan would also include favourable financing repayment periods through state-backed development banks. Such discussions were ongoing, he said.
Another leg to the plan was to create a bail-out fund over the long term to combat future droughts as the commercial farming sector is not a direct beneficiary of the government’s disaster relief. Van Zyl cited the sector’s maturity and the willingness of banks to assist farmers as factors that could help the plan off the ground.
“We cannot have a year like we’ve had last year. We didn’t have the mechanisms to support the farmers through the period,” Van Zyl said.
Among the worst-hit was the sugar industry but it is expected to recover following high rainfall. Sectors that depend on maize and soya beans for stockfeed, such as the poultry and pork industries, saw margins shrink because of higher feed prices and greater imports, especially from Europe.
Agri-Kuruman wil hiermee net die volgende persone en instansies bedank vir die wonderlike voorreg wat ons gehad het om soveel bydraes te kon ontvang. Donateurs, wat die geld beskikbaar gestel het –
Agri SA en Agri Noordkaap met sy personeel en dagbestuur wat die verdeling en logistiek behartig het. Wat die aankoop van die mielies betref dankie aan Andrew Bothma van Cargill Agriculture Supply Chain wat die beste transaksie met GWK vir ons beding het. GWK het die mielies ook kosteloos vir ons vervoer vanaf Jan Kempdorp na Kuruman. Adri van Flo-Tank het die vervoer gereël, dit het seepglad verloop. Dankie ook aan Gerrit Bruwer en Alewyn Schlebush vir mieliereste wat aan ons geskenk is.
Wees verseker elke blaar en pit word opreg waardeer. Ons bid elkeen seën toe.
Mr Christo van der Rheede, Deputy Executive Director at Agri SA presented “Partnerships: Possibility or myth – more specifically in relation to the economic and socio-economic demands of the time – and do all parties, including the state, contribute in this regard?”
The complete presentation can be downloaded here (3.8 MB) – click here