#EveryDropCounts: Drought affects us all, it isn’t discriminatory

If there is one sector that understands both the beauty and brutality of our environment, it is agriculture.
The forces of nature, combined with the spread of several diseases, has dealt agricultural stakeholders several big knocks over the past decade.
Water scarcity is its latest, and arguably most devastating.
A lot has been said about the agriculture sector’s use of water during this extremely difficult drought period.
This drought, the worst the Western Cape has seen in 100 years, is not an “us and them” problem.
It’s an “us” problem because, no matter which way you look at it, we’re in this together.
This drought impacts everyone and all sectors of the economy, but the agricultural sector is the only part of the economy that very early on had its water use officially curtailed.
This is also the only sector of the economy which uses its water allocation rights to source financing.
We’ve already seen both small and large players having to renegotiate the terms of their loans at great cost during what is already a troubled time for their businesses.
It is anticipated that over the next five years, in certain irrigation areas, up to 98% of farms may show a negative Net Farm Income at some stage.

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