New business product to boost emerging farmers

A special business product for emerging growers has been launched by Hortgro, in co-operation with Land Bank. It includes a loan scheme, administrative support and mentorship.

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“Emerging growers face great challenges such as high production costs, security in the form of land ownership, a shortage of skills, and market access,” said Anton Rabe, CEO of Hortgro, in a media statement.

He further stated that the necessary funds for equipment, infrastructure development and additional planting are often missing while commercial costs (interest rates) of loans and requirements can also limit growth and access to capital.

“This initiative was therefore launched as part of the deciduous fruit industry’s strategy to aid industry newcomers to speedily and sustainably enlarge their production footprint,” said Rabe.

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The low interest rate loans will include short term financing for production inputs, medium term financing for equipment and infrastructure development, as well as long term financing for fixed improvements such as additional orchard planting. However, Rabe noted that these loans cannot be used to buy land.

* Emerging growers who would like to apply for the loan scheme should contact Mariëtte Kotze at 021 870 2907 or [email protected].