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South Africa lost one billion dollars to acute drought

South Africa lost one billion dollars to acute drought

South Africa

The South African government said the nationwide drought has dealt a major blow to its economy, leading to the loss of some one billion dollars in the agricultural sector.

According to the statement, the drought caused “losses to the tune of 16 billion rand (940 million euros) for the sector.

“The government’s response to the crisis amounts to a billion rand (€ 59 million). This includes an allowance for small farms and support to indebted farmers,” the statement read in part.

The government's response to the crisis amounts to a billion rand (€ 59 million). This includes an allowance for small farms and support to indebted farmers

The country’s agricultural sector slumped down 14% in the fourth quarter of 2015 according to official state statistics.

The drought, one of the worst in the country in two decades slowed the country’s economy in the last quarter of 2015 to remain at 0.6 percent.

Estimates have shown that South Africa will have to import almost six million tonnes of maize (half of its normal annual harvest).

The drought, has expanded and strengthened since the earliest stages of the 2015-2016 agricultural season, driven by one of the strongest El Nino events of the last 50 years

Forecasts from a variety of sources are unanimous in predicting a continuation of below-average rainfall and above-average temperatures across most of the region for the remainder of the year’s growing season.

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