AGRTICULTURAL NEWS - Emerging farmers in the Western Cape can now apply for support from the Department of Agriculture for the 2017/18 book year.
The department has set aside R117 million for this financial year. The funding has been granted for the Comprehensive Agriculture Support Programme (Casp) of the Western Cape government through which equipment is purchased or support by means of agricultural inputs for farmers is provided.
Alan Winde, minister of economic opportunities, said that over the next three years, the Western Cape Government's Farmer Support and Development Unit will support
4 195 new agri-entrepreneurs. "Since 2009, we have supported black farmers to the value of R829-million through Casp."
He said agriculture is an important focus area for the Western Cape and through Project Khulisa they have set the goal of adding up to 100 000 jobs to the agri-processing sector.
"Agriculture, with its backward link to agri-processing, will be an important focus area in making this happen. Accelerating the pace of transformation is the right thing to do, and it makes commercial sense. That is why we prioritise investment into land reform projects."
Applying for support
Emerging farmers from the Garden Route district can contact Clyde Lamberts at the department of Agriculture, second floor, York Park building, or phone him on 044 803 3757 or send an e-mail to ClydeL@elsenburg.com.
The contact person for the Little Karoo district is Willem Burger at the Oudtshoorn Experimental Farm, Old Kammanasie Road. Phone him on 044 272 6077 or send an e-mail to WillemB@elsenburg.com.
There are two categories, namely Subsistence Farmers: Community and Household Projects; and Smallholder and Commercial Farmers.
Subsistence farmers must produce mainly for own consumption, whilst surplus is sold for sustainability purposes and they must have access to land (owned or leased) and water. Commercial farmers who wish to apply must have access to land (owned or leased) and in the case of leased land, the applicant must have a lease arrangement for not less than 9 years and 11 months, and a longer lease period is required for long-term crops.
It must be a land reform project and have the potential to create jobs as well as contribute to transformation of the agricultural sector. Agri-processing project initiatives will also be considered.
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