Agri Hour

Government initiates second phase of Presidential Employment Stimulus

───   05:00 Wed, 01 Dec 2021

Government initiates second phase of Presidential Employment Stimulus | News Article

The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development has announced that applications for the Presidential Employment Stimulus Inititiative (PESI) are now open.

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The department's spokesperson, Reggie Ngcobo, says subsistence producers are invited to submit their applications through the USSD Code *134*4536#, which has been active since Monday 30 November 2021. 

The PESI programme addresses the current unemployment challenge and sustains self-employment for subsistence producers, says Ngcobo. 

“The implementation of the Second Phase of PESI coincides with the recruitment and employment of 5 000 Assistant Agricultural Practitioners (extension personnel) that will further facilitate successful implementation of the project. These will work closely with over 1 000 already appointed NARYSEC and Unemployed Youth that is working on the first phase of PESI,” says Ngcobo. 

He adds that the minimum qualifying criteria that will apply, are applicants should be 18 years old or older; have a valid South African ID; must not be employed in the public service or by a state-owned entity; currently actively involved in the agricultural production, and must not have received DALRRD support in the current financial year.  

Specifically targeted commodities that will be supported include vegetables, grains (maize and soybean), sugarcane, cotton, poultry, and livestock, advises Ngcobo. 

“The support targets vulnerable individuals and groups and aims to support 50% women, 40% youth, and 6% people with disabilities. Child-headed households, farm dwellers, farmworkers, and military veterans will also be prioritised for support through this initiative and are encouraged to apply. Group applicants should approach their local offices for registration in the survey 123, extension personnel shall confirm farming activities of these group community applications,” adds Ngcobo.

He concludes by saying that subsistence producers must note that the type and quantities of support provided will be limited to the commodity applied for, and the size of the current operation physically verified on site. The amount of support will range between R1 000 and R12 000. Consideration of group applicants under a village will have farming-area-based funding, as these will be supported by business profiles.

OFM News/Lee Simmons

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