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The COVID-19 pandemic is spreading to the whole world. Within few weeks, economic of countries grounded to a halt and tightened the financial conditions of countries. African countries, especially South Africa, have been heavily affected by the coronavirus. South Africa has taken several measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

The Minister of Agriculture to assist agricultural sector during Coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown

  • •The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Ms Thoko Didiza, MP is pleased to announce the department’s interventions to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19.
  • The department has ring-fenced $63 million for assistance to mainly target financially distressed small-scale farmers. Of the $63 million, $21 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.
  • The adjudication will prioritise women, youth and people with disabilities.
    • 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.
  • Farmers who are currently receiving support through other programmes of government and its entities.
  • COVID-19: Understanding, consideration and cooperation in Agri value chains imperative
  • Agri SA Commodity Chamber calls for understanding and considerate conduct in agricultural value chains during the COVID-19 lockdown period. The agricultural sector has a massive responsibility to ensure food security during the lockdown period, but also in the trying economic times ahead.
  • “In the current uncertainty, when prices are reduced significantly on the supply side of the market without any notable changes on the demand side, it creates unnecessary frustration and additional economic strain on producers – it remains imperative to keep farmers in business to ensure the viability of the whole food system, ” says Omri van Zyl Agri SA Executive Director.
  • Agri SA, alongside its members, will continue to work towards the competitiveness of the whole agricultural value chain.

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