Farmers lose R14bn as Cape drought bites
Western Cape farmers have recorded R14bn in losses so far, as a result of the crippling drought in the province, according to Agri Western Cape CEO Carl Opperman. Farmers have warned that the agricultural sector faces a jobs bloodbath, saying an estimated 50,000 people could be out of work soon. The poultry sector is also reeling due to the recent outbreak of avian flu, although no new cases have been detected since October 2017. Cape Town is in the midst of its worst drought in a century and could become the first major city in the world to run out of water. The drought has forced officials to impose strict water restrictions, and the agricultural sector, which is the largest consumer of water, has had its supply curtailed by between 60% and 87%, Opperman said: "Both the fruit and vegetable industries have been hard hit by the drought and water restrictions. In the Ceres area, for example, the limited water supply resulted in 50% less onions and 80% less potatoes being planted this...
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