Ithala has a strategic platform providing capital injection and funds for SMME and Co-operatives for agricultural land. The funds extend to procurement of livestock, buying of fixed assets such as equipment and supply working capital.
Capital funding for Small and Medium enterprises is not easy to access. Banks require enough security before you can procure any amount. Collateral may be a good idea but when it comes to farming land, banks are slow to offer collateral land based financing, unless the farm is very productive and it can be sold easily.
The outlook and vision is to grow small scale farms into productive friendly and profit producing assets. A large number of such farmers are located in Kwa Zulu-Natal. The region has a diverse landscape providing crops, such maize, sugar cane, sub-tropical fruits, cashew nuts, potatoes and other vegetables. The province is also known for its animal husbandry, beef, goat sheep (mutton and wool), pigs and poultry. Also small-scale game farms producing venison and dried meats.
Ithala works with professionals in risk management and has expertise in structuring financial requirements for farming clients. It provides sound business advice and well formulated ideas that have been successful over the years. The needs of agro-processing are met proficiently for both small and big agricultural bases.
Products offered under by the fund are:
- Land and Building Finance Loan
- Property based loan for small scale farm to big farms. The finance is meant to buy land, improve or refinance agricultural properties. The time frame is usually 10 years of repayments and a maximum of 15 years. The loan is designed for long term crop production like timber, sugar care etc.
- Equipment Finance
- This type of finance has a purpose of purchasing fixed assets such as processing machines, refrigeration etc. Also the purchase of movable assets such as tractors, farming equipment, trucks, loaders, pivots. Repayments are up to 60 months.
- Working capital or Revolving loan
- The structure of the loan is based on production costs that deal with the cultivation of crops, input costs for livestock. The loan serves to cover daily costs of running the operation, things like tractor fuel or other fuel costs, oil, dipping fluid, fodder, seeds, fertilizer, weed eaters, pesticides, storage costs, crop insurance, hedging costs, interest on loan. The capital injection puts the farmer in a better position to compete and pay input costs that can be paid off after harvest.
- Working Capital or Term Loan
- Another product on offer is finance and working capital to cover production costs that are linked with cultivation of the seasonal crop and input costs of livestock. The finances deal with costs of seeds, fertilizer, fuel, oil, weed killers, pesticides, storage costs, crop insurance premiums, hedging costs, interest on the loan, fodder, licks, dipping fluid and ear tags.
The running period of the loan can be up to 3 years to help small-scale and up and coming farmers. The capital can serve to purchase livestock for feed-lotting and speculation, layers, broilers etc.
- Livestock Finance
- This type of finance is meant to cover procurement of breeding stock such as cattle, sheep, dairy cows, sows and boars. The repayments settlement ought not to go beyond the productive life of the assets. 7 years for beef and dairy is the maximum. 5 years for sheep and 3 years for breeding sows is the maximum.