THE Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has made significant and palpable progress with regard to drought relief interventions nationwide, it indicated in a statement today.
Chief director of communications, Makenosi Maroo, said DAFF went through a difficult period last year because of the drought.
“The continued low rainfall resulted in very dry conditions with drought being reported in all nine provinces. As a result eight provinces, excluding Gauteng, were declared a state of drought disaster. “
As part of its continued efforts to assist distressed farmers, DAFF engaged with all relevant stakeholders regarding the drought situation to find solutions to the drought disaster which the country is facing. DAFF further requested funds for drought assistance from the National Treasury through the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) in the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), following the verification of drought situation in the declared areas.
As a result of these assessments; National Treasury made an amount of R212 million available for the financial year 2016/17 to assist affected farmers across the country. Provinces have made R198 million available through equitable share funding.
“These funds were utilised to assist the affected farmers. Funding from programmes such as the Prevention and Mitigation of Disaster Risk (PMDR) programme were also expended with interventions on borehole drilling and construction of fire breaks. ”
He said DAFF management in consultation with NDMC and National Treasury took a decision to procure animal feeds on behalf of the provinces based on, but not limited to, the following reasons:
- Allocated timeframe within which the scheme must be implemented
- To control financial mismanagement and unaccountability
- To enhance monitoring and evaluation as well as reporting.
“All the affected provinces are implementing the allocated R212 million as part of assistance to the affected farmers. Deliveries and distributions of feeds are almost complete in the affected provinces. DAFF is expected to continue offering much needed support to the affected farmers.”