R60m set aside to help drought-hit Eastern Cape farmers

Image: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES

A total of R60m has been re-prioritised to drill boreholes, maintain dams and distribute livestock feed to farmers to combat the effects of the drought.

In his 2020-2021 budget speech, finance MEC Mlungisi Mvoko said the Eastern Cape was one of the worst-affected provinces.

“This money is aimed at mitigating against the persistent drought that has attacked our province,” he said.

He said agriculture was a catalyst for economic growth.

“We believe it is important for us to capacitate our farmers and potential farmers.

“Therefore, any investments made in the agricultural sector, without investing in people, will be in vain.”

As a result, he said, R184.3m had been set aside to provide vocational agriculture, forestry and fisheries education and training.

He said the government needed to exploit opportunities in the cannabis industry, with the tural development & agrarian reform department set to receive R4.5m for the 2020-2021 financial year.

“This allocation is for issuing permits, conducting awareness campaigns, training and development that is related to cannabis and research,” he said.

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