Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza says there is a need to re-think government’s farming strategy. She was speaking in Kimberley in the Northern Cape where she engaged with farmers and organised agriculture to discuss the impact of a prolonged drought in the province.

About R700 million is needed to mitigate the drought in the Northern Cape.

The farmers were encouraged to be brave in the face of adversity. Some distressed farmers have already taken their own lives.

However, financial intervention is needed. Many farmers have no choice but to sell their livestock.

Didiza says climate change has a severe impact on farming.

“They also made proposals because they appreciate that with climate change we might need to change the way we are producing. So, some of them were proposing that maybe we need to look at alternative crops. The team who were here from raisins South Africa, they got research that they are doing on new cultivars that in their view might be very adaptable to drought-stricken areas.”