Drought-hit farmers wary of taking on new debt

2016-01-19 20:43


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Bloemfontein – The Land Bank has seen a slow inflow of farmers seeking drought relief loans.

This was primarily because additional debt would not help them, spokesperson Tabby Tsengiwe said.  

Farmers reportedly had their highest-ever debt, more than R125bn, with South African banks.

Tsengiwe said farmers preferred to seek grant funding to tide them over the drought.

So far, the Land Bank had approved a number of loans for farmers around Lichtenburg, North West, she said.

"The farmers we have assisted were all looking for additional production loans," she said, adding that the bank was available to support any farmer to grow their business.

"Generally when farmers observe severe drought such as what the country is experiencing now, maize farmers will plant less crop than they usually do, if they plant at all."

North West, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the Free State have already been declared drought disaster areas.

"Our clients were looking for monetary support to help them manage at this time. We have looked at measures such as rescheduling payments, aligning our support to the seasons.  In our view, this should help them through this time," Tsengiwe said.

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  drought

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