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Agriculture is key to a better African Economy

In South Africa, the new Agriculture and Agro-processing Master Plan, which aims to build a prosperous and inclusive sector, will include a focus on SMMEs and small-scale farmers. It is based on six pillars and one of them focuses on providing comprehensive development finance, research and development, and extension services.

These include providing blended finance for small-scale farmers and SMMEs and providing a supplier development programme for SMMEs. Another pillar seeks to enable the expansion of markets, improve market access and facilitate trade specifically for small-scale producers and SMMEs. The plan will achieve this by increasing local supermarkets and institutional procurement.

According to the document, 6,500 new SMMEs will be created in the sector, there will be an additional 71,487 jobs, and animal production is set to expand by 611,000 tons.

Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza, who signed off on the plan earlier this month, said that some of the negotiated and agreed outcomes included enhancing state capacity and efficiency, and strengthening partnerships with the private sector to boost comprehensive farmer support programmes.

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