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Drought has had massive impact on WC agri sector, says dept

The Western Cape Economic Opportunities Department says that the value of agricultural production has dropped about 25% due to the drought.

A drought-hit farm in the central Karoo. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Economic Opportunities Department says that the value of agricultural production has dropped about 25% due to the drought.

This amounts to a R5,9 billion drop in gross value add, which is the value the sector adds to the province's economy.

Production in the agricultural sector has decreased by 20% this year and 30,000 jobs have been lost.

The Western Cape Economic Opportunities Department says the drought has had a massive impact on the agricultural sector.

MEC Beverly Schafer: "The drought has had a massive impact on the agricultural sector but also a very large impact on jobs and economic growth in the Western Cape."

Shafer says government is supporting 563 farmers at a cost of R8.1 million a month.

Agri Central Karoo says the area is experiencing the worst and longest drought in the area in living memory.

The group has called on government for more support.

Schafer says that since November, support to the farmers in the Central Karoo has increased.

In addition to supporting farmers, government is helping to maintain more than 9,600 large stock units.

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