Standard Bank announces funding for South African farmers
Standard Bank has revealed a 500 million rand (€51.3 million) fund that will give emerging farmers in South Africa greater access to finance.It is also running a mentorship programme through Stellenbosch University to help farmers progress in the agricultural sector. Commenting on the move, Senior Marketing and Communications Manager Arno van Haght was quoted by All Africa as saying the bank wants to be a leader in emerging markets, adding: "The challenge is to make money and at the same time develop the market so there is a market we can tap into."
Standard Bank, which has its South African head office in Johannesburg, estimates there are around 50,000 "developing farmers" in the country who will be able to benefit from the new funding. Willie du Plessis of the Agricultural Business Chamber added participants will be chosen from those who have a two or three-year track record in the sector.