PERSISTENT DROUGHT FORCING SOUTH AFRICAN FARMERS TO SCALE DOWN PRODUCTION

Some large-scale commercial farmers in the Letsitele area of South Africa’s Limpopo Province have been scaling down production because of the persisting drought.

The farmers have also not been able to deliver on some of their export commitments becasue of production. Limpopo has been declared a disaster area because of the drought and water levels at some dams in many parts of the province remain at below 20 per cent of capacity.

Willem van Jaarsveld, a spokesman for the provincial commercial farmers body, Agri Limpopo, said many farmers were doing their best to ensure that there were no job losses.

“Scaling down of activities were necessitated by the lack of water, especially in the last period of the recent (Southern hemisphere) winter. What farmers really tried to do was not to lay off some of the labour because to lay off some of your workers is a very big problem,” he added.

“What farmers tried to do is to maintain labour levels as far as possible but there is a lot of smaller farmers who couldn’t do anything else than to lay off labour.”

Meanwhile, an official of the farm workers union National Union of Wine, Food, Spirit and Beverages, Vincent Tiva, said the reduced production levels was negatively impacting their members.

“Some of the commercial farmers reduced working hours so that some jobs should be safe. Some of them are working two days in the week, it has a serious effect on the plight of these vulnerable workers,” said Tiva.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK.