Large parts of the Western Free State lie in ruins. Free State Agriculture (FSA) said in a statement today that last week’s widespread veld fires forced one of the most important agricultural regions to their knees.
According to Free State Agriculture president, Francois Wilken, thousands of hectares of veld were destroyed, animals burned, with millions of rands worth of damage. The young farmer Tewie Nel (28) was also seriously injured during firefighting.
“After the Senekal tragedy, the fires brought farmers close to breaking point, but the almost unprecedented public support was a turning point,” Wilken said.
Hundreds of people and institutions, from all over South Africa, responded to FSA’s request for assistance to farmers. “From feed, livestock and financial contributions to businesses that will help restore infrastructure. Even a donation from the USA was received “, Wilken said.
“In these tense times, it is encouraging that people of all races and institutions from diverse communities have stood up to help.”
FSA will now ensure that the much needed assistance reaches the various agricultural communities as soon as possible. FSA sees this as a joint effort between communities, organizations and individuals. A coordination group was convened by Naude Pienaar of Agri North West consisting of FSA, Agri North West, Agri Northern Cape, Mpumalanga Agriculture, Gift of the Givers, AfriForum, Caring Daisies, SAAI, Farmers in Need, Drought Relief SA, TAU NW, Drought Relief with Burre Burger, SENWES and NWK Limited, which in turn relies on their networks in this huge coordination task.
In addition, FSA has requested ground level structures to help compile a thorough assessment of farmers’ needs. Regional meetings within the affected regions are already planned for Tuesday, 27 October 2020.
Expressions of gratitude for all the support agriculture received, cannot be emphasised enough. There is however, still a dire need. Anyone who still wants to make a contribution can SMS their name to 37846 (SMS costs R1, B’s and V’s). Free State Agriculture will then contact you.
083 390 1831