by ANNA NTABANE
MBOMBELA, (Mpumalanga Guardian) – SOME 150 youth are set to contribute to the growth of the farming sector in the province (Mpumalanga) after receiving Agricultural Sector Education Training Authority (AGRI-SETA) accredited certificates.
This follows the completion of a training scheme aimed at empowering local youth.
They are the beneficiaries of the Fortune 40 young farmer’s incubation programme which aims to address socio-economic challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment as well as develop new, young and black agricultural entrepreneurs.
“This programme is aimed at encouraging previously disadvantaged youth into the field of agriculture, to make them sustainable farmers in poultry, aqua-culture, vegetable production and livestock rearing,” Vusi Shongwe, Member of the Executive Council (MEC): Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs.
He urged the group to make an impression in the sector and help create employment.
Nomvula Buze, one of the sub-mentors in the Fortune 40, lauded youth for their passion for farming.
“With this opportunity given by the department, employment will be created for our youth,” Buze, from Nkomazi, said.
Then-Premier, David Mabuza, announced the launch of Fortune 40 in 2015.
The programme has placed over 800 youth entrepreneurs in 14 farms across Mpumalanga province.
The scheme consists of 70 percent practical and 30 percent theoretical mentorship.