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Dept wants more money for Drought & Food Security Response Plan

The plan is aimed at supporting households & subsistence farmers in drought-stricken regions.

Carcas of cattle lost in the drought lie in a field in the Free State. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is calling for more than R124 million to be set aside as part of a proposed Drought and Food Security Response Plan.

The plan is aimed at supporting households and subsistence farmers in drought-stricken regions.

During a Parliamentary workshop yesterday, experts warned of soaring food prices which will place more people at risk.

Under the Production Support Plan, the department said struggling households will be assisted with relief packages.

This will include livestock like goats and chickens and irrigation equipment to mitigate the impact of the drought.

The department's Bonga Msomi said subsistence farmers are among proposed beneficiaries.

"In the northern part of KwaZulu-Natal, many animals have died. In the North West, our maize producing areas have been hit hard. Then in other areas of South Africa, we found that the poor had to sell their capital assets."

Msomi said food insecurity is been further compounded by high food prices and a decline in production.