Presently, South Africa is one of Africa’s worst-hit drought country. And having put one or two things in place to appease the intensity of the drought, it appears the drought has refused to be abated.
This time, livestock industry has warned Members of Parliament that South Africans are on the verge of losing their jobs and will possibly witness a huge hike in the prices of meat and other commodities. The Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has also learnt that the poor will be the hardest hit.
It is very appalling to note that because of the drought, commercial and emerging farmers have witnessed a drastic lose of an estimated five percent of the national beef herd.
Relating the primary reason for the prospective hike in commodities, the National Red Meat Producers’ Organisation said a shortage of animals to slaughter, the availability of feed, rising costs and a predicted drop in the conception rate will all affect the price of beef, lamb and mutton.
So, this information boils down to the fact that consumers would adversely feel the impact of the drought on their pockets, as pork, lamb, beef and so on would only be afforded by the rich.
National Red Meat Producers organisation’s Pieter Prinsloo said prices of beef and the rest are already on the increase but the organization is doing its best in bringing down the prices of food.
“We have got to start putting measures in place proactively to try and get the food out to the people cheaper. We know about the grain price that has gone up, we know about all products, and the chicken [farmers] have told us that their product is going up. We are telling you that the beef, lamb and mutton is going up by 12 to 14 percent this year,” Prinsloo said.
Price statistics revealed that the price of pork is expected to rise by 25 percent, while the price of a 2kg bag of frozen chicken pieces is already gone up by nearly R7 since the last quarter of 2015, and will soar even higher in 2016.
Last month, more than a million litres of drinking water were distributed across drought stricken areas following Operation Hydrate’s massive water.
Also, President Zuma has re-assured South Africans that drought-hit areas have not been forsaken. He made the assurance while speaking t the State of the Nation Address. He affirmed that the five affected areas were adequately fed with relief materials to forestall drastic food shortage among victims.
Dr Mathieu Rouault of the department of oceanography, at the University of Cape Town said study revealed that
although drought is common to Southern Africa, the two main causes of the current drought in the country are El Niño and climate change.
Experts are already beginning to liken SA’s drought experience to that of Brazil. They simply described the situation as a devastating drought combined with a domestic fiscal showdown, unfavourable global financial conditions and a governing leadership that has no market and public credibility to tackle the problems.