by ANNA NTABANE
NELSPRUIT, (Mpumalanga Guardian) – WITH agriculture having the best prospects for job creation ahead of other sectors in South Africa, it is important for authorities to make farming attractive to the country’s youth.
“We have to educate our youth that farming is not all about wearing boots,” said Vusi Shongwe, Mpumalanga Member of the Executive Committee (MEC): Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs.
“Agriculture dominates most departments in South Africa. Our food comes from agriculture. Even the clothes we are wearing,” the official said as his department hosted some 65 young up-and-coming farmers that are part of an 18-month accredited training on animal production.
The event was held at the Marapyane Farmers Training Centre at Dr James Sebe (JS) Moroka Municipality in the Nkangala District.
Up-and-coming farmers are on industrial attachment in different local farms.
This group is part of the first intake after the provincial government revived the Marapyane campus of the Lowveld College of Agriculture was revived into a training centre.
It was left unused following merger of the agriculture college with the University of Mpumalanga.
The attachment of the up-and-coming farmers will take three months.
Livestock farmers, who also accommodate them in these youth in their respective farms, will groom them on piggery, sheep and poultry management.
“Experienced farmers have to help these young farmers so that we can create more employment,” Shongwe advised.