New scheme will help farmers participate in growth of agricultural sector: Land Bank

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The Land Bank Chairperson, Thabi Nkosi, says she hopes the newly-launched Blended Finance Scheme will help emerging farmers participate in the growth of the agricultural sector.

The scheme was launched on Monday.

The aim of the partnership between the bank and the Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Department, is to support the development of small and medium-scale farmers.

Nkosi says the partnership will also seek to encourage the farmers to participate in the agricultural economy.

“So it’s these very specific elements that this scheme is looking to address. Longer term,  we really are hoping that with the successful implementation of the scheme, we will be able to see more sustainable emerging farmers; we will be able to see greater rates of inclusion into the mainstream of the economy in a manner that is representative of our country and a manner that really allows developing farmers to also participate in the growth of the sector.”

VIDEO: Landbank relaunches its Blended Finance Scheme of R1.95 billion:

New equipment

Last month, struggling small-scale farmers in the Southern Cape were handed new equipment to boost their businesses.

Some of them have faced severe hardships in recent years mostly from the drought in certain parts of the region.

Several farmers from George and Mossel Bay were recently handed equipment from the Department of Agriculture.

Deputy Minister Mcebisi Skwatsha said the initiative is part of their infrastructure support programme.

One of several small-scale farmers in the region, Elizabeth Tsoloane faced many difficulties to keep her farm running since 1999. When the communal tractor broke down several years ago, her business began to suffer.

She recently revived her farm by planting manually.

Tsoloane says a new tractor from the department will now make all the difference.

“Having this tractor as people of Thembalethu will empower us. Our main challenge is security. Government provided fencing for our farms and also built us the dam you see around here.”

VIDEO: Small-scale farmers in Western Cape plead with government for help: