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Total of P166m lost in young farmers’ projects

A total of P166 million was lost in failed projects of young farmers that were funded through the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA).

“The Agency has invested an amount of P264 573, 000.00 towards 623 Young Farmers Fund projects. A total of 399 projects failed, where an amount of P166 million was used to fund the projects. As advised earlier, the mentioned 399 projects that failed were eventually litigated in accordance with CEDA processes,” said Acting Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Karabo Gare in response to a question posed by MP for Francistown West Ignatius Moswaane.

He said that CEDA had provided rehabilitation and business advisory support towards YFF projects, with an effort to sustain them for a reasonable extensive time until the business could not respond in any way.

“As per CEDA guidelines, the Agency forecloses redeemable accounts as a last resort, that is whereby all rehabilitation interventions have been applied but the projects are not showing any signs of recovery,” he said.

Gare who was standing in for Minister Peggy Serame told parliament that once the projects have been subjected to rigorous processes of support, and ultimately litigation, they are not offered any further funding.

“However, YFF beneficiaries are free to approach the Agency for reconsiderations should any of their business circumstances change. The Agency has a provision to receive reasonable payment plan towards payment of debt and as such, plans are negotiated at individual level,” he said.

Meanwhile the Acting Minister said that some of the projects failed because of various reasons such as possibility that they were underfunded, as well as lack of technical skills by the applicants or business operators.

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Many of them are faced with difficulty when they reach implementation stage of the project, Gare said.

Minister Gare further said that they will continue to strengthen their mentoring and monitoring services to detect challenges that may lead to collapse of businesses.

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