JULY 31, 2018. A worker is seen on Danie Du Plooy's dairy farm in Bultfontein, Free State. According to a Politics Web article, " The government urgently needs to pay attention to the crisis faced by South African dairy farmers. The drastic decrease in the number of dairy farmers in the Free State alone (929 dairy farmers in 2009 to only 186 in 2018) should set alarm bells ringing for the national Department of Agriculture.The main cause of the crisis faced by local dairy producers is the fact that the government offers them very little support. Drought relief funding for farmers in drought-stricken areas is inadequate – if farmers benefit from it at all. Furthermore, unlike their American and European peers, the local producers are offered no support in the form of subsidies, empowerment and other resources." PHOTOGRAPH: ALON SKUY
PRETORIA- According to agricultural experts the farming and agriculture sector is in dire state, due to the falling economy, falling crop prices, drought, land expropriation, failing road infrastructure and high labour costs are killing jobs, with 55 000 people out of work since the beginning of the year.
Those who have lost their jobs are farmers, permanent workers and vulnerable seasonal labourers. Agricultural experts have warned that job losses and the shutting down of farms could threaten SA’s food security.
According to Stats SA the provinces that have been worst affected are the Western Cape and the Free State where 27,000 and 20,000 people have lost work respectively since January. The Northern Cape and North West each lost 4,000 jobs.
Even with provinces such as Limpopo seeing an additional 27,000 people employed, while Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Gauteng recorded nominal job increases, agricultural experts are still concerned that many of these jobs are seasonal.
The Milk Producers Organisation figures show that between 2009 and 2018 that the number of Free State dairy farmers dropped from 929 to 183.
Photo Credit- Alon Skuy- Times LIVE
Source: News Online Pulse