Thousands of COVID-19 farmers’ intervention applications received in NC

The Northern Cape MEC for Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform, Ms Nomandla Bloem, said the application process for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) intervention program for Small Holder and Subsistence Farmers in the Province was a huge success.

In April, the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Ms Thoko Didiza announced that the government has set aside R1.2 billion, to support Small Holder and Subsistence Farmers during the country’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The closing date for the application was on 22 April 2020.

About R400 millions of these funds have been set aside for farmers who are supported through the Proactive Land Acquisition Strategy (PLAS) and R750 million for Small Holder Farmers on small parcels of land and communal land.

MEC Bloem said, even though there have been challenges where farmers were unable to reach district offices on time to submit, the Northern Cape managed to receive more than 8000 application forms by the due date.

“There were various setbacks, especially with a number of roadblocks in most areas of our Province due to the lockdown. Some farmers had to go back and get permits to access our offices. Some of our farmers indicated to us that they were unable to get bank statements on time because of the long queues at various financial institutions. However, our officials at the districts and head office, did their best to assist where they could. Even though we were hoping for more, we are happy with the number of application forms we received,” said MEC Bloem.

The high number of application forms were collected in the John Taolo Gaetsewe district with 4 129 submissions, followed by Namakwa with the tally of 1 534.

The ZF Mgcawu recorded 1 115 application forms with Frances Baard at 1 106 and lastly Pixley ka Seme, logging 365 submissions. The total amount of application forms received is 8 249.

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 programmes for fruit that are ready for harvest;

·      Other Livestock: Feed and medication;

·      Winter field crops: Soil correction, fertilizers, seeds, herbicides and pesticides.

“I want to thank everyone who was involved in making this process a success. Our officials displayed a high level of commitment which is rooted in the Batho Pele Principles and entrenched in the spirit of Thuma Mina,” she said.

“We hope that the funding will go a long way in assisting our Small Holder and Subsistence Farmers in sustaining the Agricultural Sector value chain. More so because food security and production are very important to avoid any food shortage in our country this time.

I would also like to thank the farmer organisations for spreading the information to their members and assisting with the disbursement of the application forms,” concluded MEC Bloem


Mr Zandisile Luphahla
Media Liaison Officer

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