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Farmers in the drought-stricken North West are in dire straits as some are now selling their assets to avoid being liquidated.

Agri North West says the agricultural sector, government and the financial sector have to work together to find a speedy solution for the devastating effects of the severe drought.

Farmers first got rid of their live-stock and they are now selling equipment, and some even their land.

President of Agri North West, Pierre Vercueil says, “The banks and the agricultural sector will have to look at re-scheduling of the debt to see if they can find a way of how farmers can pay back their debt over a long period of time. Otherwise … a liquidation of farmers to a great extend as far as their assets are concerned.”

Crop farmers continue waiting with bated breath. The planting season has arrived but thousands of hectares of land are lying fallow.

Some have incurred huge losses.

Subsistence farmer Obakeng Tshabalala says, “I have been getting less than 15-20 tons of sunflower which is very bad because for 75 hectares you get over 50-60 tons of sunflower, so it has been really bad.”

The drought has already impacted on food production.

“The report about the imports from grain is that the net-import should be around 300 000 tons for a year, but that could escalate of course depending on what’s going to happen in the next two weeks,” adds Vercueil.

Food production is being further compromised as more farmers look for alternative means of survival.

 

Source: SABC News – N.West farmers in dire straits over severe drought:Wednesday 9 December 2015