GRANT & ZERO INTEREST LOANS FOR YOUNG AGRIPRENEURS
Agriculture|March 2020
IF YOU HAVE a viable idea that you can pursue, the Department of Agriculture will give you a grant of R500,000. Yes, that’s free! This one is for upstarts, one of three new financing programs that the DA launched in January 2020 to encourage young people to put up agricultural enterprises. Any determined aspiring farmer is eligible for the grant. No educational qualification is required. What is important is that he has the passion and focus to pursue his idea. He will be coached by a mentor to make sure he will succeed.
ZAC B. SARIAN

The second funding scheme is called the Youth Entrepreneurship Loan Program, for folks 18 to 30 years old. Participants can borrow R500,000 with zero interest and no collateral, payable in five years. Participants should be serious in pursuing their own projects. Mentors will coach them so they will be able to achieve their targets.

The third program is the Micro and Small Entrepreneurship Loan Program for those who already have existing agri projects. Under the program, the participant can borrow from R300,000 to as much as R15 million, depending on the requirements of the project. This will be interest-free and no collateral is needed. The loan is payable in five years.

Agriculture Sec. William Dar said that those who would want to avail themselves of the financing programs will undergo a strict selection process to make sure the beneficiaries will not falter. The programs are implemented nationwide. Our young aspiring agripreneurs should take advantage of the new initiative of the Department of Agriculture to encourage young blood to go into farming as an honest-to-goodness business. The funds are under the ACPC, or Agricultural Credit Policy Council.

Back to the R500,000 grant. The grant is for young upstarts who are determined and serious to get into farming as a business. There is no educational attainment required. So better think of possible projects now so you could be among the first to receive the grant. Make sure you have a viable, sustainable and environment-friendly project.

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