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Lifeline for N Cape farmers

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“With the massive decrease in the rainfall, farmers are suffering as they need to buy feed for their livestock and this is crippling them financially”

File photo: Reuters.

NORTHERN Cape farmers who have been hard hit by the ongoing regional drought in the Springbok area have been thrown a lifeline by a neighbouring wind farm.

Kangnas Wind Farm has stepped in to provide relief and help shore up food security in the area, which is being threatened by a five-year long period of drought.

The wind farm has provided drought relief assistance to sheep and cattle farmers, who are failing to feed their herds following the massive decrease in rainfall that has plagued the region.

The Boesmanland Farmers Union comprises of 34 members, including emerging farmers, all of whom have been struggling for nearly five consecutive years after the average rainfall in the region dramatically decreased from around 100mm to only 30mm per year.

“With the massive decrease in the rainfall, farmers are suffering as they need to buy feed for their livestock and this is crippling them financially,” explained Cheryl Persensie, economic development manager for Kangnas Wind Farm.

The extended drought has meant that farmers have had to sell off their livestock to survive, having reached a breaking point. This is also starting to affect the broader community, who depend on the farmers for certain food products.

“These farmers are faced with the prospect of losing their livelihoods as they aren’t able to afford to feed their livestock and this, in turn, will affect the region’s food security,” explained Persensie.

It is hoped that improved rainfall in the region this year will result in natural feed by Spring this year.