Drought-affected farmers in South Australia will soon find relief in the state government, SA Agriculture Minister Leon Bignell said at a meeting in Naracoorte on Monday which was attended by 50 farmers who have been hit by the driest two years to date.

However, the size of the relief fund as well as the form in which it would come in need remains to be discussed in cabinet, although the minister indicated there will be more project and extension officers.

"We've got to look at what is needed here and then we tailor the response around that," the ABC quoted Bignell as saying. "Sometimes it'll be money, sometimes it'll be changes to regulations. Today's about being out here and listening to what it is that people would like. Then we'll go back and work on some possible fixes for some of the problems that people are having out here."

Bignell's announcement comes a week after the Victorian government’s decision to sanction $27 million in drought funding to its farmers.

Crop yields in agricultural lands located to the south-east of South Australia have decreased by 30 to 50 percent this year, forcing many farmers to borrow resources for planting next year’s crops, which only adds to their mounting debt.

During the meeting, which was attended by a number of state government ministers and officials and discussed how to effectively bring the community, government agencies, industry and regional leaders together to tackle the problem, farmers also expressed their concerns over increases in the State's Natural Resources Management Board levy and Emergency Services Levy. This was particularly so since accessing federal drought concessional loans was difficult for farmers.

Keith farmer Miles Hannemann told The Border Chronicle that while the meeting was a positive initiative, what really matters is what comes out of it.

“There were some questions that were asked today that have very specific answers and if we don’t get those very specific answers, I will know no one was listening,” he said.

“My father used to say talk is cheap, but it costs money to buy beer.”

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