Farmers turn to God as drought threatens livestock, crops

2015-11-12 17:01
(Jenna Etheridge, News24)

(Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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Mbombela - Agricultural organisations have called on members of the public to join them in praying for rain to end the country's drought.

Agri SA spokesperson Johannes Möller said while water problems were not unique to the agriculture community, the drought had become a national problem affecting all South Africans.

"We believe this is a time to unite with fellow believers of all denominations and religions to pray for rain. South Africans are living in sensitive and difficult times and, therefore, we call on all churches and their members to use this coming Sunday worship and to pray for rain," said Möller on Thursday.

Möller added the unprecedented climate extremes could seriously undermine South Africa's food security.

He pleaded with citizens to respect one another's rights; promote good values and act together in a spirit of nation building.

Meanwhile, the Bushbuckridge Livestock Farmers' Association would meet the veterinary services in the agriculture, rural development and environmental affairs department to assist in finding a market or butcheries so they could sell off their cattle before it was too late.

"We tried to sell our cattle at an auction, but we did not succeed, so we believe the veterinarians will be able to assist us, because we cannot sell dead meat," association chairperson Nicholas Khumalo said.

He said for the past three years they had been confronted by stock theft, which had worsened since the drought began.

"We now only hope God will answer our prayers and give us rain as soon as possible, because farming is our only source of income," Khumalo said.

The Inkomati Usuthu Catchment Management Agency (IUCMA) has requested farmers using water from the Crocodile River reduce their pumping hours from 120 hours per week to 80 hours per week.

"Due to significantly below-normal rainfall and the extreme high temperatures we are currently experiencing in the Inkomati Usuthu Water Management Area, river flow levels in the Crocodile, Sand, Sabie, Usuthu and Komati River are extremely low. The environmental flow requirements and the needs of the water users are thus not being met in most of the above mentioned rivers," IUCMA spokesperson Sylvia Machimana said. 

Read more on:    agri sa  |  mbombela  |  weather  |  drought  |  water

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