AgriSETA launched its first of four career summits in Empangeni, KZN. The event was hosted by AgriSETA’s partner, the Owen Sithole College of Agriculture and which was fully supported by the region’s community leaders, as well as the KZN and National Departments of Agriculture & Rural Development.
Over 450 grade 9 learners from the region were exposed to careers in the agricultural sector. Exhibitors included the Agricultural Research Council, NYDA, AgriTeens, the SA Sugar Association and Afrivet, among others. The participation of this varied list of organisations and employers was made possible through a partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform who collaborates with AgriSETA in many projects.
“To say that agriculture is relevant and to make it attractive to the youth, is arbitrary. The truth of the matter is that it is a national imperative and which makes AgriSETA’s function important in exposing our youth to the many opportunities in the value chain of agriculture. These include all aspects of the sector, such as research, science and development of artisans so as to ensure that we do not lose agricultural scarce skills and industry knowledge. It is for this reason that we have decided to take a progressive approach to how we do our career guidance and which is the very purpose of AgriSETA’s career summits” says Zenzele Myeza, Chief Executive Officer of AgriSETA.
“Our forebears, despite race or class was dependent on agriculture and so it will be for all future generations. There really is no end to it, save for fast tracking the necessary skills to match the need in the full value chain of agriculture. This includes technological advancements and capacitating the younger generation in the business of agriculture, such as becoming more than just subsistence farmers, but to become the future suppliers for economies”, he concluded.
“This is the first of five such career summits that we will be hosting around the country, chiefly in the high priority agricultural provinces, the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Limpopo” said Frikkie Fouche, Executive Manager Skills Planning at AgriSETA.
Bernd Lutge, acting principal at Owen Sithole said, “to have the support of industry specialists, employers and indeed the entire government structure makes such efforts so worthwhile. I thank our MEC for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs BN Sithole-Moloi for her total commitment to the sector and indeed the development of skills in the province.
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