Drought crippling agricultural sector: Agri Western Cape

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Farmers’ organisation Agri Western Cape says the drought-stricken agricultural sector in the province could take up to 10 years to recover.

The province is experiencing the worst drought in a century, with dire consequences for farmers.

Dams are at 31%, with Level 6 water restrictions in place, requiring the sector to reduce its consumption by 60%.

Up to 400 000 permanent and seasonal jobs are on the line if taps run dry.

Agri Western Cape Cape CEO, Carl Opperman says good periods of rainfall and interventions from national government, including disaster relief, will help rehabilitate the sector.

“In 2015, we raised the flag to government to say we are going into a very dry cycle and we’ve got to have a good look at this. The total effect of this is going to be billions that we need to put in. It’s not only in year one or year two after good rains that this is going to get fixed. It’s going to take us between five and 10 years until we are back to normal and that has to be financed.”