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Agri-Industrial Fund Launched

March 25, 2021

Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

A R1bn Agri-Industrial Fund has been launched to boost black farmers.

In a statement, the agriculture, land reform and rural development department confirmed that the Fund was launched in conjunction with the Industrial Development Corporation.

The Fund is designed to address funding constraints facing black farmers and break entry barriers to commercial farming.

The Fund also aims to develop and implement high impact black-owned large scale commercial agricultural projects.

The department has praised the partnership emphasizing that the “Fund’s main goal was to support the development and expansion of the agricultural sector by assisting qualifying black producers/investees in developing, expanding, acquiring, and integrating operations in prioritised value chains”.

The Fund also seeks to help “establish high-value, export-oriented orchards on community-owned agricultural land (restituted or communal properties) across the country including establishment of competitive contract growers in the poultry value chain; the protein value chains such as Poultry, Pork and Beef value chains”.

Meanwhile, the department has called for comment on a Draft Standard Operating Procedure for the handling of rejected imported meat that has been approved for heat treatment.

The guidelines apply to rejected imported meat where the National Executive Officer of the Meat Safety Act has granted approval for such meat to be processed at an approved heat treatment facility prior to release.

The Draft Standard Operating Procedure focuses on official approval for heat treatment, independent monitoring of the process, responsibilities of the assignee, responsibilities of the owner of the cold store and responsibilities of the owner of the heat treatment facility.

Comment is invited until 30 April 2021.