Grain SA has launched a drought aid project aimed at collecting at least 15 000 t of white or yellow maize from its grain-producing members to be distributed to livestock farmers over three to four months.
This follows an initiative launched by a group of farmers in the Hoopstad area to raise maize donations and transport it to farmers in distress, who have been affected by the ongoing drought, particularly in the Western and Northern Cape regions.
"It is extremely important to us that all farmers in need are assisted, regardless of membership of organised agriculture. We experienced the drought in its severity last year and now wish to bless others from our abundance," said Grain SA CEO Jannie de Villiers.
Grain SA, in conjunction with various agribusinesses, allocated assigned delivery numbers to receive donations at the silos. The participating agribusinesses have waived the storage and handling costs.
Agri Northern Cape took responsibility for the transportation and distribution of the maize. The agriculture businesses that already form part of this project include Senwes, Afgri, NWK, GWK, Suidwes, OVK and TWK.
In addition, many transport companies have already offered to assist with transporting the maize. The Northern Cape government also appropriated funds to assist with transport costs. In addition, Agri SA has pledged the last funds from the 2016 Drought Relief account towards transport costs.
Since the inception of the project on June 1, 300 t of maize has already been delivered to farmers in need.