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South Africa: Finance schemes announced to help expand fruit industry

Unique partnerships in the South African deciduous fruit industry bring authentic agricultural growth

The South African deciduous fruit industry, the Jobs Fund, and Land Bank are proud to announce the first ever blended finance scheme for people/entities who want to enter or expand their businesses in the fruit and wine industries; targeted (at least) 51% black-owned entities.
Hortfin, which launched in October, is an R600 million ring-fenced debt fund directed at the fruit and wine industry value chains and is positioned to provide innovative and comprehensive financing and support systems in a manner that promotes job creation, transformation, and sustainability.

The activities of Hortfin will be directed by a board of directors with a range of supporting personnel to effectively execute its mandate. The Land Bank is a key role player and financier and will be responsible for managing the loan book. The Jobs Fund provides grant funding and has a key monitoring role over the initial years. Participants in the broader fruit industry are expected to play an important role in identifying opportunities, forming joint ventures and generally providing support to the investee companies.

According to Mariette Kotzé, group operations manager of the deciduous fruit producers association, Hortgro, the purpose of the initiative is to fast-track economic development within the top fruit, stone fruit, table and wine grape value chains, by building on existing programmes such as the commodity approach, the Commercialisation Programme of the Deciduous Fruit Development Chamber (DFDC) and various other initiatives.

Kotzé says: “We are opening a new way of thinking about how to grow the South African fruit and wine industries; to grow inclusively and in a financially viable manner – not only by providing funding but also through support. Thereby, reforming lives and investing in world class agriculture.”

Anton Rabe, Hortgro Executive Director says: “If we want to stay relevant and ahead of the curve, we need to be innovative and bold and come up with relevant solutions to serve the complex needs of our stakeholders. We have learnt of lot from previous initiatives and I am confident that the Hortfin project will be a huge success drawing on the expertise and experience of the partners involved. I am equally confident that this project will be yet another step in our journey towards sustainably transforming the face of our sector.”

For more information
Pippa Moore
RED Communications Ltd
Tel: +44 1480 465 953

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