Matriculants should study agriculture – IFP

KwaZulu-Natal matriculants who achieved good results should consider a career in agriculture, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) said in a statement on Tuesday.

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"There is a lot of concern about engaging youth in the agriculture sector. In many ways young people are not interested in a career in agriculture because they don’t see much prospect in the future of agriculture and they don’t see it as an attractive profession in the long-run," said Nhlanhla Msimango, IFP spokesperson on agriculture.

KZN has huge agricultural potential and profitable farming can be attractive to young farmers with the help of agriculture development practitioners, policy makers, the private sector, government agencies and other related professionals, said Msimango.

“To do this, agriculture must be transformed from purely subsistence farming to commercial ventures, where young students undertake agriculture as a business and view it as a career that is economically viable."

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He added that there is a need to change the agriculture curriculum in universities – “to ensure that it attracts the interest of the youth and to also translate the research activities into direct action on the field for the benefit of farmers."

He also called for more vocational training centres to revive agriculture in the province.

At the Afasa congress in Pretoria last year, agriculture minister Senzeni Zokwana said that it should be ‘sexy’ and ‘cool’ to farm.

“This is how we can ensure that the youth sees farming as a good career option.”