South Africa: Small-Scale Farmers Get R1.2 Billion in Aid - but Big Agriculture Says More Help Needed to Protect Food Chain

analysis

On Monday, the government announced R1.2bn in financial assistance to farmers in an attempt to strengthen the sustainability of the food chain, but stressed that there still is enough food for everybody -- despite panic buying. AgriSA, however, said commercial farmers need more interventions as the biggest roleplayers in the food supply chain while other commentators stressed that government should also look at providing relief to those in the informal economy as its regulations to fight the coronavirus have basically destroyed their livelihood.

Stressing that there still is enough food for everybody in South Africa, the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza, announced on Monday that the department had ring-fenced R1.2-billion for assistance to mainly financially distressed small-scale farmers in certain agricultural sectors.

Since President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic as a disaster and announced a strict 21-day lockdown, the government has announced several measures to protect the sustainability of the country's food supply chain.

Didiza said the sectors to be targeted include poultry, livestock and vegetables. Other commodities will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

She said the qualifying criteria for farmers are that they must have been actively farming for...

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