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Financial shot in the arm for small farmers and rural agribusinesses

Home Agriculture Financial shot in the arm for small farmers and rural agribusinesses

THE Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency (ECRDA) and the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (sefa) have signed a R75 million partnership agreement for a blended finance scheme to assist Eastern Cape farmers, agribusinesses, and rural enterprises. The plan is to disburse the funds before the end of the 2023/24 financial year to Eastern Cape farmers and other rural agribusinesses along the value chain. The funding will be in a blended finance structure, which is a combination of a loan and a grant.

This is to address and alleviate the funding challenges that confront agri-enterprises operating in the Eastern Cape region. This initiative acknowledges that the agricultural sector plays a pivotal role in the economic landscape of the Eastern Cape, but it also recognises the unique hurdles faced by emerging agribusinesses. One of the most significant impediments these enterprises encounter is their limited access to conventional commercial financial institutions, which often hesitate to extend credit due to perceived risks or a lack of collateral.

ECRDA, an agency of the Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR), pulled together resources in partnership with sefa, which has effectively resulted in the creation of a R75 million blkended finance fund for this financial year (2023/24).

This strategic partnership is critical to ensuring increased affordability, inclusion and reducing the risk of failure by new entrants.  It also aims to support the development of small and medium-scale producers to participate in the mainstream agricultural economy and along the agricultural value chain

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