Agriculture continues to be an attractive option for entrepreneurs with the necessary skills and access to agriculture funding opportunities. With the climate, South African farmers can produce everything from livestock to grains and cereals, wine, sugar, and fruits and vegetables.
On the negative side, the sector has high barriers to entry. Specifically this not only includes limited experience with farming and lack of knowledge about business principles, but also high set up costs and lack of access to startup capital.
If startup capital is a barrier for you, let’s take a look at agriculture funding opportunities available to entrepreneurs.
Agro-Processing Support Scheme
Businesses that specialise in agro-processing and agro-beneficiation (beneficiation is where value is added to a product) can take advantage of the support offered by the Agro-Processing Support Scheme which aims to improve the sector and broaden participation.
The sub sectors that can benefit are food and beverage value addition and processing (including black winemakers); furniture manufacturing; fibre processing; feed production; and fertilizer production.
The scheme should help businesses achieve some of the following: increased capacity, employment creation, modernised machinery and equipment, competitiveness and productivity.
Co-operative Incentive Scheme (CIS)
Cooperatives play an important role in economic development in South Africa. They are also an important vehicle to help alleviate poverty and reduce unemployment.
The Co-operative Incentive Scheme is a 100% grant that supports registered co-operatives and is an important agriculture funding opportunity. It is aimed at improving the viability and competitiveness of co-operative enterprises by lowering their cost of doing business.
The grant helps emerging co-operatives to acquire their startup requirements and to build an initial asset base to enable them to leverage other support.
The Black Industrialists Scheme
The Black Industrialists Scheme is an incentive programme that supports black entrepreneurs. The priority sectors include transport, green industries, agro- processing, biofuels and chemicals.
The scheme funds businesses with a proven business model that are in need of funding or looking to expand.
The goal of the Black Industrialist Programme is the growth and global competitiveness of black-owned businesses.
IDC Agro-processing and Agriculture Strategic Business Unit
This programme supports new or existing companies within the agro-processing and greater agricultural sector. In particular the programme invests in the development of projects and businesses that either create new or expand local manufacturing capacity. The programme’s goal is boosting job creation, increasing exports and enhancing competitiveness.
The fund supports the following sub-sectors of the agriculture value chain: horticulture including fruit, vegetables, nuts, tea and coffee; field crops processing; animal protein, including red/white meat, aquaculture, poultry etc.; forestry.
Isivande Women’s Fund (IWF)
IWF specialises in providing debt financing to women-owned businesses. As such, you must have a formally registered enterprise that is 50% + 1 share owned and/or managed by women to qualify.
The fund was established by the dti and works to provide more affordable, usable and responsive finance to enterprises. Additionally, it seeks to accelerate the economic empowerment of women.
They provide funding for both startup enterprises and expansions.
Access Guides to Launching an Agribusiness
- A Guide to Launching a Rabbit Farming Agribusiness [UPDATED]
- How To Get Into Vegetable Farming
- How to Run a Poultry Business
- How to Start a Pig Farming Business