Food prices are going up, and up due to the drought.
The Department of Agriculture, led by Minister Senzeni Zokwana and Deputy Minister Bheki Cele, presented a report to a parliamentary committee on Tuesday, where they discussed the impact of the drought on food security.
Drought has affected the availability of white maize
The report, which could not be completed due to striking parliamentary workers, said the drought has affected the availability of white maize – a major staple – as well as yellow maize, which was critical for animal feed.
“The projected closing stock level of total maize at 30 April 2016 is estimated at 1.323 million tons, compared to 2.074 million tons the previous season.”
“The projected closing stock level of total maize at 30 April 2016 is estimated at 1.323 million tons, compared to 2.074 million tons the previous season”
According to the report, future prices for wheat, maize (yellow and white) and sunflower for delivery in October 2015 experienced upward pressure, compared to the same period last year.
The mark-to-market price for white maize for delivery in October was up by 79% compared to the previous year, while the price for yellow maize was up by 65% in comparison.
The department detailed some of the interventions to date, which include spending money on drilling boreholes for livestock water, and dishing out advice to farmers in the form of strategies.
The department has also provided provincial departments with a template to register farmers affected.
A disaster relief scheme framework has also been developed.