Farming Cheats: Coca-Cola offers assistance to black farmers

Ever wondered where some of the black commercial farmers we write about got their funding?

Well, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA)’s Mintirho Foundation is one of many that offer funding in the form of grants, loans or equity, as well as training to farmers so they can benefit from all the agricultural products CCBSA buys.

Some of the foundation’s most successful clients are farmers you might know and who have been featured in African Farming, like Dr Job Mthombeni of Mthombeni Farming Operations (apples, soya beans and maize) in Mpumalanga and Sinelizwi Fakade of Rocky Park (maize, potatoes and soya) in the Eastern Cape (January 2021). Mintirho assists developing farmers from previously disadvantaged backgrounds and has paid out R800 million since it was established in 2018.

Although much of this funding has been for sugar-cane farming because it is such an important component of the company’s soft drinks and juices, a lot has also been invested in fruit, vegetables, fertilisers and logistics. CCBSA buys grapes, lemons, oranges, litchis, mangos, peaches, apples, pears and guavas to produce its juices and juice concentrate.

To qualify for funding, you need to either produce crops or be involved in agro-processing or do some sort of value-added distribution. You would also be eligible if you have an innovative solution for an agricultural problem.

The foundation provides growth capital but may also cover expansion once an initial project is successful. Training and skills development are also provided through grant funding. Projects must be 60% black-owned, and preference is given where women or youths account for 75% of ownership.

Owners must have security of tenure in the form of a title deed or a lease longer than 20 years. The maximum funding is R40 million per transaction.

Call 011 848 2600/2 or email Mintirho@ccbagroup.com for more information and to find out when the next round of applications opens.

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