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Agri SA urges private sector to help amid Land Bank’s financial troubles

In April, Treasury told Parliament that its inability to give the Land Bank R20 billion it had asked for was not a sign of government’s lack of commitment to the state-owned bank.

Picture: sxc.hu.

JOHANNESBURG - Agri SA on Tuesday called on the private sector to come to the rescue of the agricultural industry as the Land Bank’s financial troubles deepened.

Farmers have been relying on the Land Bank for finance for decades.

In April, Treasury told Parliament that its inability to give the Land Bank R20 billion it had asked for was not a sign of government’s lack of commitment to the state-owned bank.

The Land Bank defaulted on repaying R50 billion in loans in April.

“If a farmer doesn’t have access to production loans, that farmer won’t be able to farm or produce any food. It is worrisome that the Land Bank, which has played an instrumental role in the development of emerging farmers, has serious liquidity problems,” said Christo van der Heeder, Agri SA’s deputy executive director.

“You cannot expect an emerging farmer to pay commercial rates on any production loan. What will happen to those farmers who are clients of the Land Bank? The private sector has to play a bigger role in developing emerging farmers to ensure food security for the country,” he added.

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