JAN 03, 2017 03:30 AM PST

Heavy Losses in South African Drought

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A nearly five year drought in the North West province of South Africa is abating, somewhat, with recent rains, however it may be too late for some farmers. While the rains have been welcome, more than a few farmers say they've been losing money so steadily it could take years to re-coup the losses. Both crops and livestock have been affected, with some farms having to sell off stock at deep losses. Making up these losses will take more than a few weeks of rain.

The Groot Marico dam provides irrigation for much of the province, but not all. The recent wet weather has seen it rise, but there is still a ways to go. Areas within the NW Province are seeing varying amounts of rain, with some areas getting way more than others, so the danger of some farms going bankrupt still looms.There is cautious optimism in some parts, but the rain must continue to fall and that is anyone's guess at this point. Deadlines to plant certain crops have passed and there is hope that the farmers who were able to seed their fields will see a return on that investment
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