Veld fires: Farmers need help

Veldfires: Farmers need help

11 October 2005

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Bloemfontein – Two provincial commercial farming bodies, AgriNW and Free State Agriculture, urged the government on Tuesday to intervene in areas devastated by recent veld fires.

Willie Auret, AgriNW’s executive manager, said it seemed the North West government could provide only limited help.

“Producers are thankful for the help from the province but the government needs to intervene urgently,” he said.

Free State Agriculture executive member John Kotze also expressed hope that the government would declare some areas in the province as disaster ones.

“This would mean the emergencies in these areas would receive urgent attention,” said Kotze.

Auret said veld fires had devastated huge areas in almost all the province’s regions.

Humanitarian effect unimaginable

“It’s estimated that about 250 000 hectares were affected, which include 65 farms that were totally destroyed,” said Auret.

The humanitarian effect of the fires was unimaginable because it was obvious that some farmers can’t keep their farm workers.

Free State Agriculture’s Pieter Moller said the situation in the province was discussed on Tuesday with Neels van Rooyen, a member of the national council of provinces.

“We discussed the immediate needs of farmers and their workers in the province.”

He said Free State farmers were receiving help from all over South Africa.

“It is heartwarming to see the involvement and help that Free State farmers received from other farming communities in the country.”

Auret, meanwhile, has made a plea for further help in fodder donations for North West.

The Agri NW head office can be contacted on 018-632-3612 or 018-632-3624.


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