Home Farmer's Inside Track 10 funding opportunities for farmers

10 funding opportunities for farmers

Ready to start a new farming enterprise or extend your current business? Plans all made, just need the funding? Here's a list of 10 doors for you to knock on

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funding opportunities for farmers

Welcome, future farmer! Are you starting up your farming business, have a great business plan but are getting stuck on financing your dream? Don’t give up, this is a reality for many up-and-coming farmers in Mzansi.  

We know how essential farmers are for our day-to-day lives and food security. We also know that there are many funding opportunities out there to help future farmers to chase their agripreneur dreams.  

So, look no further than our list of ten funding opportunities for farmers in Mzansi. 

1. Land Bank’s financing for farming & agri-enterprises 

Land Bank acknowledges that farmers are the backbone of our society, and also that new generation farmers need access to resources and funding.  

The bank assists with the financing of any farming-related expense, including:​​​​​​​​​​ 

  • ​Farm purchases 
  • Capital financing for machinery and farm equipment (e.g. tractors, implements…) 
  • Production Loans 
  • Farm Improvements​ 
  • Infrastructure development (both primary and agro-processing) 
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The general requirements for clients to access funding from Land Bank include: 

  • Be a South African citizen or a permanent resident holder 
  • Have a clean credit record 
  • A detailed business plan 
  • Have enough security, equivalent to the amount being borrowed 
  • Be able to afford the repayments on a loan 

Access the funding application here

Some of the funding criteria requires security or credit conditions to be met that new farmers may struggle with, so you are encouraged to seek out your nearest Land Bank branch to discuss the available options based on your needs. 

2. Integrated food security and nutrition programme  

This inter-governmental programme provides relief to households affected by food insecurity, in the form of agricultural help: seedlings, equipment, fertilisers, etc. The aim is to give beneficiaries the equipment they need to produce their own food. Groups or individuals who want to start a small-scale garden, and subsistence farmers in rural or urban areas, can apply. 

Contact the Department of Agriculture: 012 319 7331. 

3. Umsobomvu Youth Fund (UYF) 

Grants are offered to youth projects only, for male farmers who are aged 18-35 years old, and also for female farmers of any age. The UYF provides funds for production inputs only and does not fund poultry production. 

Grants are provided in the forms of micro loans of R1 000 to R100  000. 

You need the following documents to apply: 

  • Application form 
  • Business plan 
  • Copy of ID 
  • Proof of residence 
  • You will be required to undergo a credit check 

Contact their National Office via their telephone number or send them a fax. 

  • Tel: 011 651 7000 
  • Fax: 011 805 9709 

4. South African Breweries (SAB) fund 

While this fund is not solely for farmers, there is a great opportunity here.  

The SAB fund focuses on providing funding for small, medium and micro-sized enterprises, in order to contribute to the economic and social empowerment of historically disadvantaged persons. This is done primarily by supporting entrepreneurship development and social innovation with a priority focus on providing opportunities within small, medium and micro-sized enterprises for women and youth, people in rural areas, as well as persons with disabilities. 

There is a lot of information about this opportunity on the SAB foundation website

5. National Development Agency (NDA) grants 

The NDA funds existing and new projects, with two different types of funding: the request for proposals for new projects as advertised, or for programme formulation for existing projects. 

Documents required: 

  • Copy of registration certificate 
  • Business proposal 
  • Copy of ID 

Read about their grant funding and resource mobilisation on their website, where you can also contact them for more information. 

6. AgriBEE Fund 

The purpose of the AgriBEE Fund is to support small, medium and micro enterprises within the sector who wish to acquire shareholding in existing commercially viable and sustainable enterprises and to advance enterprise development through agro-processing and value adding activities to previously marginalised people who could not participate in the sector value chain. 

The list of criteria for eligibility,  as well as prerequisites and conditions for funding are outlined in this document, and there are additional resources on the website

7. Land Redistribution for Agricultural Development 

This programme provides grants to previously disadvantaged individuals to get land for agriculture. Applicants who want to farm may apply for an LRAD grant, but have to make a contribution, either in cash or in labour, to a minimum of R5 000 (or more, if the grant is larger). Grants vary from a minimum of R20 000 to a maximum of R100 000. 

Individuals or groups may apply. In many cases, groups already using communal land owned by local authorities, can apply to the programme to buy additional land. Women, youth and the disabled in particular are welcome to apply. 

  • Contact Agricultural Development: 012 319 8495 
  • Contact Land Acquisition: 012 312 9600 

8. AGRA grants 

Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) makes awards only to those organisations that have been determined to possess the operational capability, technical expertise, adequate internal controls and experience to implement the AGRA transformative agenda. AGRA’s aim is to invest in projects that have measurable impact and can create meaningful, transformative change in the agriculture sector in Africa. 

The areas that they fund include seed supply, fertiliser value chains, farmer awareness, markets, finance and capacity building. Potential grantees are identified through open and competitive processes. 

Requests for proposals (RFP), requests for applications (RFA) and requests for concept notes (RFCN) are the official announcement to the public of the solicitation for grants applications.  

RFAs and RFCNs are usually posted on the AGRA website as well as on other suitable media. All applications must be emailed or submitted online at rfcn@agra.org quoting the request (RFA/RFCN) reference. 

Find more detailed information on their website

9. The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) fund 

Through this project the IDC supports businesses who wish to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies in the area of agro-processing. Support includes loans from R1 millon to R50 million, technical support and financial assessments. 

One of IDC’s objectives, through the Agro-processing and Agriculture Strategic Business Unit, is to invest in the development of projects and businesses that either create new or expand local manufacturing capabilities, thereby replacing imports and enhancing competitiveness. 

The aim is to develop a competitive industry in the food, beverage, fibre, forestry and agro-derivative industries; that utilises and develops local and regional resources to supply domestic demand and increase participation in international trade. 

This is better suited to seasoned farmers, who are ready to expand into a new sector.  

Download the brochure for funding here

10. Contact your local Department of agriculture and rural development 

Or at least keep an eye out on their website or social media pages for upcoming funding opportunities.  

In 2020 the North West department of agriculture and rural development made specific funding available for animal husbandry and arable farming. Support was offered for farm infrastructure, production inputs, enterprise and business development, and farmer training in skills development and capacity building. 

These are the types of opportunities that you have to watch out for, you never know when one specific to your situation might pop up. 

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Dona Van Eeden
Dona Van Eeden
Dona van Eeden is a budding writer and journalist, starting her career as an intern at Food for Mzansi. Furnished with a deep love and understanding of environmental systems and sustainable development, she aims to make the world a better place however she can. In her free time you can find her with her nose in a book or wandering on a mountain, looking at the world through her camera's viewfinder.
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