Farmers feel left out in the cold

2015-02-26 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Agriculture had very little to be thankful for following the tabling of Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene’s 2015/16 Budget, farmers’ organisation TAU SA said yesterday.

“With the current severe drought, we would have liked that the minister [of Finance] would have made an allocation for drought relief in advance,” TAU SA said in a statement.

“The earlier farmers who have been hit by the drought can be helped back on their feet, the less food needs to be imported.

“Imports of food will have an adverse impact on the country’s payment balance.”

The cutting of the overall agriculture budget to R6,38 billion showed it was not a priority, the organisation said.

The fuel levy would not bode well for farmers.

“This will have a negative effect on the economy, while it will lead to rising food prices.

“Whether it’s a wise decision to allocate as much to emerging farmers while commercial farmers are struggling to keep their heads above water, is an open question.”

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