Lawmakers were told yesterday (Tuesday 1 March) that 5% of the nation’s cattle and pork-breeding herds had been destroyed as a result of the weather.
Pieter Prinsloo, vice-chairman of the Red Meat Producers Organization, told parliament that the beef head-count stood at 13 million before the drought.
“The livestock industry needs to increase its calf percentage and lambing in order to rebuild the national herd,” Prinsloo said. He added that it could take up to four years for farmers to recover without any financial aid from the government.
Meanwhile, the pig producing industry is feeling a similar impact. James Jenkinson, chairman of the Pork Producers Organization, said at the same meeting that the pork-breeding stock had been cut by 6,000 sows.
Jenkinson claimed that as a result of the damage caused by the weather, pork prices could increase by a quarter this year. In addition, around 10% of the industry’s employees could be at risk of losing their jobs