Vodacom’s Mezzanine secures contract with DALRRD to roll out COVID-19 relief fund vouchers to smallholder farmers in South Africa.

The programme, which kicked off in January, provides vouchering services to the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) in South Africa. It is part of the Presidential Employment Stimulus Initiative, or PESI, which “aims to sustain and increase employment in the agricultural sector” by providing some 75 000 subsistence producers with farming input vouchers as well as support food security.

Up to 110 000 smallholder farmers in South Africa could qualify to receive a voucher to the value of between R1 000 and R14 000, as part of the COVID-19 Relief Fund that will support various farming activities such as vegetable farming, maize, beans, soya, cotton, or sugar production; poultry and small or large livestock.

The registration process via USSD is completed and DALRRD extension officers are now verifying farmers on their farms.

Retailers that meet DALRRD criteria have registered to redeem the vouchers by applying through the DALRRD tender process. Eligible farmers receive a voucher code via SMS and are directed to their nearest participating retailer to redeem their vouchers. Retailers will be paid from the allocated DALRRD funds for the vouchers redeemed in their stores.

The programme will continue until the end of June 2021. It follows the successful implementation of a similar vouchering solution for smallholder farmers through the Solidarity Fund.

Solidarity Fund farming input voucher program by the numbers since December 2020

The eVouchering solution

eVouchering enables enterprises to enrol beneficiaries, manage eligibility, and distribute value to beneficiaries in the form of vouchers for goods or services, including cash redemption, or cashless transactions. The solution will primarily focus on SMS but is open to enable multi-stakeholder integrations to maximise reach and scale. The open nature of the eVouchering platform supports a multi-stakeholder ecosystem, and we welcome

the opportunity to collaborate with additional disbursement channels as the programme matures. Read more about eVouchering here.

About Mezzanine

Mezzanine, a Vodacom company, delivers digital solutions to governments, international organisations, and companies working in Africa. With an estimated 800 million mobile subscribers in Africa, we see mobile technology as a major enabler for creating productive societies. We deliver last-mile mobile, IoT and digitally-enabled solutions that cut costs, increase efficiency, improve risk management, and provide unrivalled access to citizens across the continent. We work with our customers to co-create solutions in the industries of agriculture, health, social services, education, and utilities and financial management.
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