Lockdown-affected dairy farming communities in KZN have received much needed assistance following a massive donation of R500 000 from the Clover Producers’ Trust and dairy products from Dairy Farmers of SA to support emerging farmers and distressed rural communities in South Africa.
Having identified the loss of income and dwindling food supply in their communities, as well as the barriers to market entry emerging farmers are experiencing during the lockdown, a group of dairy farmers in KZN ingeniously developed a form of assistance that supports both concerns coherently.
“Farmers are incredibly close to their communities and have seen the difficulties emerging farmers face under current circumstances. It is heart-breaking to see the our people struggling to survive and we are determined to assist wherever possible,” said John Bredin, Chairman of the Clover Producers’ Trust.
The funds distributed to trustees of the Clover Producers’ Trust to dairy farming regions across South Africa, were re-directed to numerous non-profit organisations within each of these regions. These organisations, in turn, used the donated money to buy fresh produce from local emerging farmers, for distribution to their various feeding schemes. In this way, both emerging farmers and local communities have benefited from the initiative.
The Kokstad Community Care Centre, an NPO that has been feeding, counselling and assisting their local community with addiction and family-focussed programmes for the past four years, is one of the many beneficiaries of this donation. Since April, the farming donations received have enabled them to feed over 2 000 families in the area.
“Our database of needy families keeps on growing. Many people have had no income for the past two months and don’t qualify for UIF, while others have lost their jobs altogether. Donations like this one and many others from farmers recently, enable us to feed these families,” said Andreia Clowes, Chairperson of the Kokstad Community Care Centre.
Following an influx of stories of farmers donating produce and finances towards assisting families in need throughout KZN, Kwanalu applauds farmers for their generosity and outreach within their communities.
“During these difficult times, our farmers recognise that agriculture is one of the few sectors that can largely operate as an essential service during Lockdown. Having seen the devastating impact that the Lockdown has had on wage earners, casual workers, informal traders and the job losses, they are trying to assist as much as possible. By working together with local municipalities, ward councillors, and NPOs, as well as listening to the needs of the communities, farmers are showcasing the strength our country has when united towards a common goal for the benefit of our people,” said Kwanalu CEO, Sandy La Marque.
For further information on farming in KZN and Kwanalu visit the website www.kwanalu.co.za