KZN officials aim for fair allocation as over 3k farmers receive relief funds
Close to 3,000 smallholding farmers in the province have benefited from government's COVID-19 relief programme in efforts to ensure food security amid the pandemic.
DURBAN – KwaZulu-Natal agriculture officials say in a bid to ensure fairness COVID-19 relief vouchers valued at R98 million have been distributed according to the needs of individual farmers in the province following a thorough assessment process.
Close to 3,000 smallholding farmers in the province have benefited from government's COVID-19 relief programme – in efforts to ensure food security – while the country battles to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Authorities say commodities that have been prioritised for the support programme include poultry, livestock, fruit, winter field crops and vegetables.
Leigh-Anne Corbishley, a vegetable farmer, says COVID-19 has severely affected her business because the local outlets where her produce is sold was temporarily shut after the announcement of the lockdown.
Corbishley said support from the government has given her enterprise the much-needed boost.
“Having lost income with farming you have to keep going all the time. This will give a little boost so we can get the fertiliser in the ground and get our chicks growing – that is the sort of help we need right now”.
KZN agriculture MEC Bongi Sithole-Moloi says they have tried to be fair in allocating the support.
“Everybody who has benefitted has benefitted according to the needs that they have put in their forms in their application.”
Sithole-Moloi says they have also reached out to farmers in the informal sector but have encouraged more of them to register so future interventions can reach them easier and faster.