Small-scale farmers are set to receive cash handouts worth between R1,000 and R9,000. The agricultural industry has been a shining star of the SA economy, even during the hard lockdown.
Small-scale farmers severely hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and resultant eight-month lockdown will receive financial support from the government through a R1-billion agricultural industry relief programme.
Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza said at a media briefing on Monday, 7 December that the government would provide small-scale farmers with cash handouts worth between R1,000 and R9,000. The handouts are expected to help 75,000 farmers tend their small-scale farms.
Although the relief for farmers was announced in early December, Didiza has now costed the financial package and set aside R1-billion. The relief programme is specifically for small-scale farmers, whom Didiza said “utilise land in the back yards of their homes [or] gardens in communal areas” to farm.
Unlike their large and established counterparts, small-scale farmers are usually excluded from supermarket supply chains and government policies that offer support to the broader agricultural industry. Commercial lenders also overlook small-scale farmers because they don’t usually have valuable or liquid assets to use as collateral for loans.
The Land Bank, a…