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R50m emergency drought relief to be used for fodder support

The funding was authorised after the Western Cape Provincial Cabinet on Wednesday approved the release to assist farms experiencing severe drought.

This picture shows the banks of the Theewaterskloof Dam as the Western Cape is gripped by drought. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Agri Western Cape welcomed the release of R50 million for emergency drought relief in the province.

Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier authorised the funding after the Western Cape Provincial Cabinet on Wednesday approved the release to assist farms experiencing severe drought.

The request was initiated by Agriculture MEC Ivan Meyer.

Agri Western Cape's Jannie Strydom said he appreciated that the provincial government understood and valued the role of agriculture in the Western Cape's economy.

Maynier said the R50 million would be allocated specifically to provide two months of fodder support for farmers in the drought-stricken Central Karoo District, Matzikamma and Little Karoo areas.

He said the decision was taken urgently to ensure the agricultural sector continued to support economic growth and job creation.

According to Maynier, the agricultural and agri-processing sectors were vital to the Western Cape economy, contributing about 36% of exports from the province in 2018.