I want to thank farmers and agri workers for embracing the responsibility for not only ensuring that food production continues during the COVID -19 lockdown, but that it is done with due regard to the relevant health and safety measures as per the relevant regulations.
This special dispensation was given to producers of food to ensure that our ability to produce food is not compromised.
It is an honour that food producers are recognised as being at the core of the survival of our country and we should carry this recognition with responsibility.
The recent initiative by Western Cape producers to donate fresh product to FoodForward SA is indeed an act of unselfish solidarity with our fight against COVID 19 and the increasing possibility of hunger amongst the most vulnerable in our society.
I welcome the National Minister’s announcement to make R1.2 billion available to assist small-holder farmers with food production. The aim is to secure food for the next six months.
The focus will be on poultry, vegetable winter field crops, fruit and livestock production.
I encourage our small-holder and communal farmers with annual turnover between R20 000 and R1 million and who are currently in production to apply.
Application forms are available on the Department of Agriculture Land Reform and Rural Development website on www.dalrrd.gov.za and can be lodged electronically at firstname.lastname@example.org between 8 April 2020 to 22 April 2020.
Mr Jerry Aries, who is responsible for Farmer Support and Development at the Western Cape Department of Agriculture can be contacted on JerryA@elsenburg.com or 021 808 5103 for assistance.
The national government has also made R100 million available via the Landbank to support commercial farmers who are in distress.
The Western Cape Government will continue to support farmers through its commercialisation programme. One such example is the R20 million that has been allocated for the establishment of three cold rooms in the Overberg Region which will not only improve market access but also create more jobs in the sector.
Let us continue to keep our nation nourished and stop the spread of COVID-19.
Spokesperson for Minister Meyer
Tel: 079 9904 231