Saai – an organisation that protects the interests of family farmers – has created an online platform to enable financially distressed small-scale farmers to apply for funds from the COVID-19 Agricultural Disaster Support Fund (CADS Fund). Applications for the fund opened on 8 April 2020 and will close on 22 April 2020.
Thoko Didiza, Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, announced the Department’s interventions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on 6 April 2020. The Department has ring-fenced R1,2 billion for assistance to mainly target financially distressed small-scale farmers. R400 million of the R1,2 billion has been allocated for farmers within the Proactive Land Acquisition Strategy (PLAS) programme and the remainder will be channelled towards all other farmers that are mainly within the poultry, vegetable and other livestock commodity sectors. Other commodity sectors will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
“We launched our platform for COVID-19 travel permits on 25 March 2020, helping thousands of farmers across South Africa to get access to a travel permit within a matter of minutes. We hope to do the same with the CADS Fund application process,” says Francois Rossouw, CEO of Saai.
“The biggest problem is that most of the farmers that qualify for the CADS Fund do not have the resources to print or scan the documents that are supposed to be completed. The online platform that Saai has built enables farmers to complete all the required information digitally and submit the forms without having to go through the normal hassles,” adds Rossouw.
Once completed and submitted, forms are lodged electronically at firstname.lastname@example.org and applicants will also receive a copy of their records.
Visit the digital platform at https://bit.ly/CADSFund or WhatsApp your name and surname to 066 071 6094.