Farmer heartbroken as he watches animals die, says drought relief would help

As dam levels continue to dwindle due to South Africa's water crisis, Bongani Bingwa chats to livestock farmer based in Limpopo A.J Kotze and Wits School of Governance adjunct professor Mike Muller.

RELATED: Farmers organisation wants drought declared a national disaster

Kotze says the drought is making it difficult for him to do his job.

The drought has forced me to start other businesses so that I can sustain myself. I feel sorry for other farmers who only rely on farming to make a living.

A.J Kotze, Livestock farmer

The state of the livestock is so bad that it can't be sold to produce money to survive, he adds.

He says the situation is so bad that some farmers don't have funds to look after themselves, their families and their farms.

We have relationships with our animals and to let go of them or to see them die is heartbreaking. In my yard, all the sick animals would come to my yard and we would try to feed them and take care of them, but eventually, most of them will die.

A.J Kotze, Livestock farmer

Even though the situation is dire, luckily the Limpopo province has been receiving a lot of rain recently, Kotze explains.

Drought relief would have made a difference to those farmers who needed it the most because they could have been helped to go through this difficult period until the rain comes. It is so important for other companies or the government to come to help these farmers to go through this difficult time.

A.J Kotze, Livestock farmer

Muller explains the agricultural drought in some parts of the country.

What that means is, if you are dependent on rainfall to grow the grass and your mielies and the rain is two months late, you are under pressure. If you had a drought last year, things are looking really bad as well.

Mike Muller, Adjunct professor - Wits School of Governance

Who takes that risk, he asks?

Drought is going to happen all the time in South Africa and farmers are going to be affected, do they take insurance, do they expect the government to pay and how do we proceed?

Mike Muller, Adjunct professor - Wits School of Governance

Listen below to the full conversation:


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