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Kwanalu

The voice of agriculture . Die stem van landbou . Izwe lezokulima

Agri SA welcomes the launch of the vital Agro Energy Fund

29 August 2023

Agri SA welcomes today’s launch of the Agro Energy Fund by the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza. The fund was first announced by Minister Didiza in the budget vote delivered in May 2023.

The fund was one of the interventions stemming from the Task Team established by Minister Didiza to mitigate against the impact of the energy crisis on the sector. The Task Team consisted of Agri SA, the Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa (Agbiz), the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP), and officials of the department of agriculture.

Given the cost pressures facing farmers, notably, as a result of loadshedding, the Fund will provide vital support to the farmers who safeguard South Africa’s food security. It will provide a combination of grant funding and loans for farmers to acquire the equipment and infrastructure needed for energy-intensive farming. Small-scale farmers will be able to access grant funding up to R500,000; medium-scale farmers up to R1 million; and large-scale farmers up to R1,5 million.

This vital funding is essential to help maintain the financial viability of the sector, thus also protecting the livelihoods the sector sustains. While the funding will not address the magnitude of the challenges facing South Africa’s farmers or the extent of the impact of the energy crisis on their enterprises, it is a strong indicator of the department’s commitment to protecting the nation’s food security.

Agri SA will continue to work with the department to ensure that South Africans continue to enjoy reliable access to safe, affordable food. We trust that government will work with the sector to build on this crucial intervention.

Media enquiries

Christo Van der Rheede

CEO at Agri SA

Kulani Siweya

Economist at Agri SA