Land Bank aims to transform agricultural sector

20140505031519_Foto-18The Land Bank said it is working to unlock the massive potential in the country’s agricultural sector to ensure greater and more meaningful participation by black farmers, industrialists and intermediaries. This was the bank’s key commitment going into the NAMPO Harvest Day 2017, South Africa’s premiere agricultural showpiece.

The Land Bank claims it has ramped up financing for empowerment and transformative activities in the sector over the last five years, to support emerging black farmers, industrialists and financial intermediaries who on-lend to black farmers. However, it acknowledges that more must be done in order to drive shared and inclusive growth in the sector.

For Land Bank CEO, TP Nchocho, NAMPO represents a timely opportunity for all stakeholders in the agricultural sector to confront these challenges head on and commit to working together to achieve transformation and inclusivity. “Our mandate is to make sustainable financing available to all those who are keen to participate in the agricultural sector. With every transaction, programme or initiative undertaken at Land Bank, we are concerned with driving real development impact. This involves making the agricultural sector do more – working to ensure that more land is productive and getting more people farming at scale on a sustainable basis,” says Nchocho.

To this end, the Bank recently announced that it would be providing R1-billion in financing for black entrepreneurs to invest in high value agricultural economic assets during the current financial year. This is in addition to undertaking R500-million worth of investments in high-value agribusinesses to support black industrialists in the sector. It will also be providing emerging farmers with the financial and technical support that allows these farmers to expand their activities to a commercial scale.

Nchocho added that funding alone is not the sole catalyst for growth: “The transfer of skills from large commercial farmers to emerging farmers, including vulnerable groups such as women and youth is vitally important, so collaboration is essential.” During NAMPO 2017, Land Bank is set to further demonstrate its commitment to the transformation of the sector through its various programmes to benefit black emerging farmers, financial intermediaries and industrialists.

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