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Fresh concerns for WC farmers as coffers run dry

While the drought has broken and grazing lands have resurged in many places in the provinces, there are still areas where the rains haven't come.

FILE: A drought-hit farm. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - There are fresh concerns over the state of the agriculture industry in some parts of the country as state coffers have run dry.

Agriculture officials are set to raise the issue of funding for drought-stricken farmers at a meeting with the provincial Cabinet on Tuesday.

While the drought has broken and grazing lands have resurged in many places in the provinces, there are still areas where the rains haven't come.

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said the Western Cape was allocated a R170 million to help farmers make ends meet and feed their herds. as they waited for the drought to break.

National government allowed the funding to extend for three months longer than the end of the financial year.

But it said from now on, the farmers were on their own.

The Western Cape Agriculture Department said it has raised this with the provincial Cabinet.

It’s spokesperson Daniel Johnson says they'll do their utmost to ensure they find the money struggling farmers need...

“We will continue with the process of engaging all role players including national departments to find a viable solution to this challenge.”

The department will either have to convince national government to part with more money or find the money in its existing budget in order to keep herds in the worst affected areas fed.