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DALRRD on Interventions to Assist Agricultural Sector During COVID-19

April 8, 2020

Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

R1.2 billion has been ring-fenced to assist financially distressed small-scale farmers.

In a statement on interventions to assist the agricultural sector during the Coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown, the agriculture, land reform and rural development department added that, out of the R1.2 billion, R400 million has been allocated for farmers within the Proactive Land Acquisition Strategy programme.

The remainder will be channeled towards all other farmers mainly operating within commodity sectors including poultry, livestock and vegetables.

Qualifying criteria for farmers includes South African citizens who have been actively farming for a minimum of 12 months and currently in the production season or cycle; registered on farmer register, commodity database or provincial database; communal farmers and smallholder farmers with annual turnover between R50 000 and R1 million.

The department points out that mechanisation, infrastructure and overhead costs will not be supported.

Other exclusions include farmers who are preparing for the 2020 summer production season, farmers currently receiving support and no debt payments.

Applications open on 8 April 2020 and close on 22 April 2020.

Meanwhile, in another statement, the department indicated that the main aim of the COVID-19 Agricultural Disaster Support Fund for Smallholder and Communal Farmers is to complete the current production cycle in order to ensure adequate food production and supplies.

The support is directed at smallholder and communal producers with a turnover between R20 000 and R1 million per annum and the grant shall not exceed R50 000 per farming operation.

Targeted commodities include poultry, vegetables, fruits, livestock and winter crops.