Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza, says more than 55 000 applications have been received from farmers across the country with regards to government assistance during the nationwide lockdown.
Government has committed to assisting small-scale farmers to enable them to continue producing food as the country fights against the coronavirus pandemic.
Briefing the media in Pretoria, Didiza said out of the applications received, over 15 000 have been approved. She says over R500 million has been approved for the successful applicants who include women, the youth and people with disabilities.
Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister, Thoko Didiza, says at least 55 000 applications have been received from farmers across the country with regards to government assistance during the nationwide lockdown #sabcnews
— Radio 2000 (@Radio2000ZA) May 17, 2020
The fund intervention of R1,2 billion aims to address the effects of the coronavirus and ensure sustainable food production post the pandemic.
“I am pleased to announce that after the closing date, 55 155 applications were received. The Eastern Cape Province received the highest number of applications followed by the Northern Cape and North West,” says Didiza.
She says the department will finalise its decision on the remaining applications in the next week.
The issuing of vouchers to provinces will commence on Monday.
Didiza has urged food value chain role players to strictly comply and adhere to strict health regulations to contain and arrest the spread of COVID-19.
In this video, Minister Thoko Didiza is briefing the media on the Agriculture Disaster Fund