Local farmers get welcome relief

NKOMAZI – The Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs (Dardlea) started rolling out disaster relief to drought-stricken Mpumalanga farmers on Tuesday.

This comes after the province was declared a disaster area due to the drought, Dardlea said in a statement on Monday.

Fourteen municipalities in the province have been severely affected by the drought, while Thaba Chweu, Umjindi, Nkomazi and Bushbuckridge have been less affected.

However, these were expected to experience water shortages for domestic use in the near future.

Dardlea has allocated R33 million which will immediately be made available to farmers in critically affected areas,

strictly for the provision of fodder and water. Farmers next to the Crocodile River may use only 42 per cent of their normal quota for irrigation, while along the Komati River farmers are still enjoying their full share of water for irrigation.

Following assessments by the Joint Disaster Operations Team, the department has collectively agreed with farmer associations to procure and distribute fodder and water.

The department launched the disaster relief at Mgobodzi Sports Ground on Tuesday.

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