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COVID-19: These are the relief measures SA’s government is offering farmers

PUBLISHED: Tue, 07 Apr 2020 11:22:48 GMT

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South Africa is a net exporter of food but with lockdown and COVID-19 some farmers are finding it difficult to cope financially. On Monday the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza, MP announced in a statement the following measures to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19:

The department has ring-fenced R1.2 billion for assistance to mainly target financially distressed small-scale farmers. Of the R1.2 billion, R400 million has been allocated for farmers within the Proactive Land Acquisition Strategy (PLAS) programme and the remainder will be channelled towards all other farmers that are mainly within the following commodity sectors:

  • Poultry: Day old chicks, Point of lay chickens, feed, medication and sawdust;
  • Other Livestock: Feed and medication.
  • Vegetables: Seedlings, fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides and soil correction.
  • Other commodity sectors will be evaluated on a case by case basis, as the Department continuously monitors the impact of COVID-19 on the sector at large.

Qualifying criteria for farmers

  • South African citizens who have been actively farming for a minimum of 12 months and currently in the production season or cycle.
  • Be registered on farmer register, commodity database or provincial database [Those who are not on the Farmer Register will be registered to benefit].
  • Communal farmers.
  • Smallholder farmers with annual turnover between R50 000 and R1 million.
  • The adjudication will prioritise women, youth and people with disabilities.

Exclusions

Mechanisation, infrastructure and overhead costs will NOT be supported. This is not comprehensive support but intervention package amid COVID-19.

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Farmers who are preparing for the 2020 summer production season will not be supported. The aim is to provide immediate to near-term support to smallholder farmers currently affected by COVID-19.

For more on COVID-19 visit: https://www.cnbcafrica.com/covid-19/

Farmers who are currently receiving support through other programmes of government and its entities.

No payment for debts.

The applications for this funding will be open from 08 April 2020 and will close on 22 April 2020. No late entries will be accepted. Application forms will be available on 08 April 2020 on the departmental website – www.dalrrd.gov.za and through national, provincial, district and local offices of both the national Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development and Provincial Departments of Agriculture. Applications will be lodged electronically at applications@dalrrd.gov.za or submitted to the offices as outlined.