A total of 75,000 smallholder farmers will benefit from the government allocation of R 1B (about US$66M) which is aimed to cushion them from the negative effects of COVID-19, said a senior government official on Monday at a press briefing.
The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza said 50 percent of beneficiaries should be women, 40 percent be youth and six percent be disabled people including unemployed military veterans.
“In excess of 75,000 subsistence producers will be supported with farming input vouchers, to retain self-employment in the sector, while supporting food value chains. It is appreciated that while the agricultural sector was negatively impacted upon, the subsistence producers and household producers remain the most affected,” said Didiza.
She said the government will temporarily employ 6,000 unemployed agricultural graduates as verification officers.
She said, “It is our hope that this intervention will ensure that we retain employment of these producers and offer opportunities for employment to unemployed.”