OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE MAYOR
Block B | 2nd Floor | Tshwane House | 320 Madiba Street | Pretoria PO Box 440 | 0001
Tel: 012 358 4903
Cllr Randall Williams
Executive Mayor, City of Tshwane
2 March 2021
Emerging Farmers Development Fund Project ready to Plant the First Seeds Worth R 2 million
In December 2020, I announced the establishment of an Emerging Farmers Development Fund to assist the small and emerging farmers of the City of Tshwane.
The need for assistance was expressed to me by two of the City’s young emerging farmers. Specifically, these young farmers asked me to help them with training in financial management, and with access to capital.
Following this meeting and my subsequent announcement of the establishment of an Emerging Farmer Development Fund, I instructed officials in my office to make this happen.
Through reprioritization efforts and identified savings within the Office of the Executive Mayor, which included internalizing a number of planned research projects, we have now confirmed through Council approval of the Adjustment Budget for 2020/21 on Thursday, that we will “seed” the Emerging Farmers Development Fund with R 2 million.
This initial R 2 million will allow us to provide at least 100 emerging farmers in the City of Tshwane with access to capital, in the form of a micro-grants. The micro-grant is not intended to “help float” the businesses of our emerging farmers, but it is designed to assist them in procuring specific equipment and input material that will stimulate their respective agri- businesses. Financial training will be provided to emerging farmers as part of this initiative.
Based on the guidance and advice from agricultural experts familiar with the agricultural environment and sector in the City of Tshwane, the micro-grants will allow emerging farmers to procure drilling and equipping services (for water), water tanks for storage, irrigation equipment, shade-net/tunnel structures for controlled farming, seedlings/seeds and fertilizer, as well as certain animal feeds.
We believe this investment through our Emerging Farmers Development Fund will allow our emerging farmers, and the residents of the City of Tshwane, to harvest and enjoy future crops with a significantly increased yield and that the increase in their financial wellbeing, will be equal to the increase in their crop yield.
OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE MAYOR
The implementation of this Fund will be through my Office in collaboration with our Division: Agriculture and Rural Development under the leadership of the MMC for Agriculture and Environmental Management, Cllr Dana Wannenburg. This implementation structure will afford my Office the responsibility to monitor the progress, to engage with the emerging farmer beneficiaries and to provide me with continuous feedback on this critical initiative.
Agriculture can be found throughout the City, especially in regions 4, 5, 6 and 7. These areas are also prone to extreme events such as flooding and intense thunderstorms, which can have a detrimental impact on agricultural infrastructure. In addition, the increases in very hot days, heat-waves and high fire-danger days will likely reduce crop yield and increase cattle and poultry mortality in the City.
For the City of Tshwane, preventative action should also include water sensitive urban design and promoting climate resilient agriculture and ecosystems. The launch of this Emerging Farmers Development Fund is also at the forefront of these required climate actions, as highlighted by the City of Tshwane’s updated 2020 Climate Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (CRVA).
The Climate action plan indicates that we should focus on implementing actions that will build the general resilience of the City and its people, through raising awareness and training, improving health and food security, infrastructure maintenance and environmental conservation. I am confident that empowering our emerging farmers through the Emerging Farmers Development Fund to become more productive, will build resilience in the City.
The City of Tshwane would like to invite all its interested emerging farmers, who meet the prescribed requirements and who currently farm within our municipal boundaries, to apply to the Emerging Farmers Development Fund for consideration. Application forms and the requisite criteria are available on the City’s website. For further inquiries please email LardoS@tshwane.gov.za and NtsikaneM@tshwane.gov.za
The deadline for applications is Sunday, 14 March 2021 at midnight.