Pretoria - The City of Tshwane has undertaken to throw a lifeline to 100 emerging farmers by investing at least R2 million into their struggling businesses.
This was after two young farmers approached mayor Randall Williams to ask for assistance with financial management training and capital.
Subsequent to the request the City formed a funding scheme called the Emerging Farmer Development Fund, which is aimed at assisting small farmers' businesses to the tune of R2 million.
The budget was set aside by council during the tabling of the adjustment budget for 2020/21 last week to provide micro grants to small farmers.
Williams said: "The micro-grant is not intended to “help float” the businesses of our emerging farmers, but it is designed to assist them in procuring specific equipment and input material that will stimulate their respective agri-businesses. Financial training will be provided to emerging farmers as part of this initiative."
The grants would help the beneficiaries to procure drilling and equipping service, water tanks for storage, irrigation equipment, shade-net, seedlings, fertilizers and animal feeds.
"We believe this investment through our Emerging Farmers Development Fund will allow our emerging farmers, and the residents of the City of Tshwane, to harvest and enjoy future crops with a significantly increased yield and that the increase in their financial wellbeing will be equal to the increase in their crop yield," Williams said.
The funding roll-out would be co-ordinated through the mayor's office in collaboration with the agriculture and rural development division under MMC for Agriculture and Environmental Management, Dana Wannenburg.
All interested and qualifying small farmers in the municipality have been invited to apply for funds to the development fund before March 14.