South Africans from all walks of life have stepped forward in recent months to assist farmers impacted by the prolonged drought affecting large parts of our country, with initiatives ranging from water collection to the supply of feed to hard-hit areas. In a bid to boost the embattled agricultural sector, leading short-term insurer Santam has donated R2 million to help alleviate the financial hardship faced by both commercial and emerging farmers.
In an announcement at Agri South Africa’s 2016 Commodities Congress, Santam Head of Agriculture, Gerhard Diedericks said the donation would be made to the National Drought Disaster Relief Fund managed by Agri SA. The contribution will benefit not only members of South Africa’s four Agri industry bodies, but will include emerging farmers not belonging to any organisation. Those that are most in need of assistance will be prioritised.
“The persistent drought continues to have a knock-on effect on the local economy and threatens the long-term food security of our country. Farmers and communities dependent on the agricultural sector for their livelihoods are bearing the brunt of this crisis. For Santam, lending support to both individual farmers and farming groups is simply the right thing to do,” Diedericks said.
He added Santam would continue to assist the farming community in managing the risks endangering the sustainability of agricultural resources. “As the oldest insurer in the sector, with over 85 years of extensive experience in dealing with the highs and lows of agriculture, we understand the role farmers play in ensuring the stability of food security.
“Santam will continue to work with industry partners, brokers and organisations within the agricultural sector to meet the challenges that lie ahead. Collectively we need to do much more to assist our struggling farming communities, and we urge our counterparts to show their support and contribute to this critical cause,” Diedericks concluded.