7 (not-so-easy!) ways to get farmland in SA

Are you an aspiring farmer about to start a farming enterprise or an existing farmer looking to expand your operations? Here's a handy list of resources on how to get land to farm in South Africa

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Farmer's Inside Track FIT

We all know how important farming is for our livelihood in Mzansi, not just as an employment opportunity, but to feed and clothe our people. If you have been inspired by our 10 farming ideas that will be lucrative in 2021 or need to find land to support your farming enterprise (find funding opportunities for future farmers here), then look no further than the following opportunities to get land to farm in South Africa!  

Whether you lease your farm or fund it through loans, here are your opportunities to get access to land to farm on in Mzansi: 

1. Land Redistribution for Agricultural Development (LRAD)

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 – 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 for agricultural development: 012 319 8495. 
  • Contact land acquisition: 012 312 9600. 
  • Follow the procedure to apply here

ALSO READ: How to start farming in 10 easy steps 

2. Buying a farm through the Land Bank

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The Land Bank is a commercial bank that can give you a loan of up to 60% of the value of the farm. If you are from the previously disadvantaged group, you can get up to a 90% loan. 

Land Bank can also help you with finance for any farming-related expense, including:​​​​​​​​​​ 

  • ​Farm purchases;​ 
  • Capital financing for machinery and farm equipment (e.g. tractors and implements); 
  • Production Loans;
  • Farm improvements;​ and
  • Infrastructure development (both primary and agro-processing).

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; 
  • Present a detailed business plan; 
  • Have enough security, equivalent to the amount being borrowed; and 
  • Be able to afford the repayments on a loan.

Find the form to apply for Land Bank loans here

3. Casidra’s agriculture and land reform programme

The purpose of this Western Cape government programme is to manage specific government farms in a sustainable manner to transfer to a relevant receiving entity. It aims to ensure a sustainable support mechanism for new and established farmers which includes land reform beneficiaries and farm workers. 

Contact Casidra to find out about their farmer support and development programme that facilitates and implements agricultural projects for agrarian beneficiaries through government funding. 

Please note that Casidra is a Western Cape based agency, but they do avail themselves for consultancy services regarding community development initiatives. 

LREAD is an acronym for Land Reform Advisory Desk. It is a Casidra desk aimed to effectively provide planning support to farmers, businesses, municipalities and landowners to structure land reform deals for agricultural transformation within the context of the National Development Plan.  

4. Lease of state-land for farming purposes 

The department of agriculture, land reform and rural development (DALRRD) extends opportunities on the government website every year. The current period for land allocation applications has lapsed, but they do pop up from time to time. 

View the details from the previous round of applications here in order to be prepared when the next DALRRD opportunity presents itself! Keep an eye out on the DALRRD website here for specific updates on land news. 

5. Land Reform Empowerment Facility 

The Land Reform Empowerment Facility (LREF) is a broad-based black economic empowerment fund capitalised by the department of rural development and land reform and supported by the European Union. LREF is a wholesale financing facility through which the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (sefa) lends money to commercial banks and other reputable agricultural lenders for on-lending to land reform beneficiaries. 

The aim of LREF is therefore to broaden the control, management and ownership by black South African citizens in land-based, high-value income generating assets in the agricultural sector. To increase the commercial success of LREF-funded projects, sefa assists these projects with training and skills development interventions by means of a training grant. 

Read here to find out more about the different financing facilities under LREF. 

6. Loans from commercial banks

Agricultural loans provide the capacity to purchase a new farm or expand current operations. Many of our banks in Mzansi offer dedicated agribusiness services, such as Standard Bank, FNB, ABSA, and Nedbank.

You need to have a detailed and well research business plan before you approach your bank for a loan.

7. Comprehensive agricultural support programme 

Have you gotten your land to farm in South Africa? Find some support for your upcoming farming enterprise with the comprehensive agricultural support programme (CASP). 

Many who acquire land through land and agrarian reform programmes need support to use it effectively. This programme offers support services to previously disadvantaged land-owners to promote and facilitate farming. CASP has six priority areas: 

  • Information and technology management; 
  • Technical and advisory assistance; 
  • Marketing and business development; 
  • Training and capacity-building; 
  • On/off farm infrastructure and product inputs; and 
  • Financial support. 

Contact the department of agriculture: 012 319 8495/7686/8244

More information on CASP.

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