Shell supports farmers through the AgriSA Drought Relief Fund
Shell has donated R1-million to Agri South Africa’s (AgriSA) Drought Relief Fund. This donation comes at a crucial time, as livestock farmers in severely drought-stricken areas are struggling to keep their animals alive and grain farmers are beginning their planning for the coming season.
The funds donated by Shell will go towards supporting farmers in Springbok and surrounding communities in the Namaqualand region of the Northern Cape. This region has been severely affected by the drought; commercial and small-scale farmers alike are fighting to save their livestock.
President of AgriSA Johannes Möller says his organisation has assisted about 12 000 farmers and over 8 657 farmworkers and community members so far this year with drought relief in severely affected areas, through the contributions received by members of the public and various companies such as Shell. “All farmers are affected by the drought — commercial, game, small-scale and red meat producers. In the recent past Limpopo province was also declared a disaster area, and now even more donations will be required to bring relief throughout the winter months.”
Shell’s general manager Sales: Commercial Lubricants Anton Niemann says: “Throughout Shell’s 113-year history in South Africa, agriculture has always been a key part of our business focus. We are extremely proud to have been associated with agriculture for all these years, and we realise how important a productive and effective agriculture industry is for the wellbeing and food security of our country.
“One of our core values as a business is caring for the environment and people where we have operations. This gesture demonstrates our appreciation for the agricultural sector, which has been a strategic partner to Shell South Africa over several years.”
South Africa continues to endure one of the worst droughts to hit the region in 20 years. Many small farmers are expected to go out of business as food production prices increase. Niemann says although government has contributed a significant amount toward drought relief, “the public sector cannot address this dire situation alone, and additional support from the private sector is absolutely crucial”.