Meat producers say an increase in the price of red meat is inevitable due to the on-going drought in parts of the country. The Swartland and West coast regions have been particularly hard-hit due to poor grain harvests and shortage of animal feed.
Farmers that are not badly affected are doing their bit to lend a helping hand. A shortage of high quality feed, as a result of severe drought across parts of the country, could trigger a bigger crisis.
With farmers forced to decrease their livestock numbers, meat prices are set to climb. To help ease the burden, farmers are working together to donate animal feed to those in need.
Farmer Michiel Smuts says :"Besides the fact that you must sell or slaughter your stock you must decrease in size, and even when the drought has passed it will take years, three of four years to get your stock up again, so it’s not just about losing livestock. It affects and sets back your whole operation."
The Agri-Western Cape initiative will see 100 tons of fodder donated and transported from various struggling farms in the province.
Agriculture MEC Alan Winde says:" The effect of the drought is that food prices will increase. It will also affect seasonal farm workers who depend on their wages to put food on the table. "
Meanwhile, in the Northern Cape, more than 60 tonnes of feed to small farmers have been distributed. Coupled with a 5 million ton maize shortage in 2016, consumers can expect to dig deeper into their pockets.