In all our interviews with farmers, the difficulty of accessing financing always comes up. Now there’s a programme aimed at uplifting emerging farmers by providing interest-free input loans coupled with on-farm tailored mentorship and support from qualified agrispecialists.
To date, the FarmSol’s Go Farming programme has helped more than 982 smallholder farmers across South Africa with loans of more than R1 billion. FarmSol, a subsidiary of SAB/AB Inbev, initially financed only farmers producing products within SAB’s value chain, mainly barley and maize.
Now it has a new model aimed at the long-term sustainability of farmers that produce sunflower and groundnuts too. Go Farming encourages the production of these crops in rotation with wheat, oats, canola and other feed and cash crops, depending on the size of the farm, marketing opportunities and the farming system used.
To qualify, applicants need to be South African citizens and have a solid business plan that proves their ability to repay the loan. The business should be at least 51% black-owned and the applicant should be an active farmer.
The programme now also works with John Deere, exposing participants to the brand’s latest technology and allowing them to experience using it.
The idea is to grow the power of smallholder farmers by finding and exploiting business opportunities and help them build thriving businesses. African Farming wishes them all the best of luck!