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MEC Vusi Shongwe announces measures to assist smallholder and subsistence farmers in communal areas in Mpumalanga

He encouraged smallholder and subsistence farmers in the communal areas of Mpumalanga to apply for funding which is aimed to alleviate the impact of Covid-19. The application for funding has already opened, and will close on 22 April 2020.

The MEC for Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environment Affairs, Mr Vusi Shongwe, has cautioned farmers that the police will begin to raid farms which do not comply with the regulations of the national lockdown.

Mr Shongwe, who announced the financial assistance that government has set aside for farmers to mitigate the negative impact of the lockdown on 9 April in Ermelo, said issues of hygiene among farm owners and workers should not be neglected.

He said: “Farms are largely dealing with food production and we cannot compromise the safety of the consumers.”

He encouraged smallholder and subsistence farmers in the communal areas of Mpumalanga to apply for funding which is aimed to alleviate the impact of Covid-19.

The application for funding has already opened and will close on 22 April 2020.

This came after the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Ms Thoko Didiza, announced that her Department made R1,2 billion available to support smallholder and subsistence farmers during the country’s battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The targeted beneficiaries are smallholder and communal producers with a turnover between R20 000 and R1 million per year; about 50% women, 40% youth and 6% people with disability; South Africans who have been actively farming for a minimum of 12 months and farmers who are currently in production and registered on a farmer register, commodity database or Provincial database of farmers.”

The amount to be approved to each farmer will be up to a maximum of R50 000.

MEC Shongwe said that these interventions are meant to secure food security during the State of Disaster.

“We, therefore, call on our farmers to take advantage of this opportunity and apply in numbers.”

The following commodities will be supported:

  • Poultry: Day old chicks, Point of lay chickens, feed, medication and sawdust;
  • Vegetables: Seedlings, fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides and soil correction.
  • Fruits: Final spraying programs for fruit that are ready for harvest.
  • Other Livestock: Feed and medication.
  • Winter field crops: Soil correction, fertilizers, seeds, herbicides and pesticides.

Application forms can be located at www.dalrrd.gov.za or through the National-, Provincial-, District- and Local offices of both the National and Provincial Departments of Agriculture.

Applications must be lodged electronically to applications@dalrrd.gov.za or alternatively submitted with the offices as outlined.

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