In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic coupled with millions of South Africans going hungry daily due to adverse economic conditions, Grain Care and the FirstRand SPIRE fund, through RMB and FNB have launched a substantial grain campaign aimed at providing maize meal to vulnerable communities.
R1 million, equating to approximately 500 000 meals, has already been committed by RMB and FNB to assist vulnerable communities within Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Free State and the North West.
As part of this initiative, farmers and businesses across the agricultural value chain are urged to donate grain or cash for the procurement of maize. Donated maize will be converted into cash via Safex and used to procure finished maize products from participating millers, through Grain Care, and distributed to vulnerable communities across the country.
Dawie Maree, Head of Communication and Marketing at FNB Agriculture, says “We are appealing to the entire agricultural sector to come together during this difficult time to lend a hand and help our fellow citizens who are currently in need. Maize remains an essential staple in South Africa and is consumed in high volumes within our communities. As we prepare for harvesting, let us consider using some of our crops or income to make a positive impact, especially within the communities in which we operate.”
“Our initial objective is to procure, process and distribute 7 000 tons of super maize to feed hungry, vulnerable people and children. Together we can make this possible, and further ensure the sustainability of this initiative with the potential to produce more meals for communities in South Africa, throughout the year,” adds Maree.
“This initiative is really exciting as we are actively targeting vulnerable communities from the very regions we source much of our food. We felt that we need to support those communities that provide labour and support to our agricultural sector”, commented Andrew Aitken, co-Head of RMB Ventures.
Francois van der Plas from RMB’s Debt & Trade Solutions team added that RMB and FNB are well placed to leverage their networks, platforms and other capabilities to make a tangible difference in the communities they are part of.
“This initiative can only be impactful with the support of our clients and partners. We urge our partners to join us in this worthy cause,” he added.
“The program is currently targeted at maize deliveries, while the intention is to include other agricultural commodities in future,” concluded Van der Plas.