The Land Bank intends tripling to R15bn the value of its lending to emerging farmers within the next three to four years, says Litha Magingxa, the state-owned institution’s head of agricultural economics. This will translate to 30% of its total lending of R45bn. Over the past two years, the bank has increased its lending to emerging farmers and agricultural development enterprises to about R5bn from R2.5bn. Magingxa spoke at an information session at the Nampo harvest festival, SA’s biggest agricultural event held annually at Bothaville in the Free State. He was responding to long-standing criticism of the bank for not doing enough to support the transformation of agriculture. Business Day reported earlier that a study found that emerging farmers did not have ready access to off-farm capital and needed state assistance for their farms to produce, compete and have a degree of longevity. Despite agriculture’s relatively small share (2.4%) of total GDP, primary agriculture is an import...

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