The North West MEC for Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Ms Desbo Mohono says the growing number of females qualifying as professionals in the field of Agriculture should serve as a sign of more good things to come and a step in the right direction. Mohono said this while addressing 28 graduates at the Potchefstroom College of Agriculture graduation ceremony that was held on Friday, 7 December 2012.
Out of the 28 students who were conferred with Diplomas in Agriculture, 11 were females, and as confirmed by the Principal of North West Colleges of Agriculture, Mr Dipepeneneng Serage, this is the highest number of female students to graduate in one year, in the history of this college. "The class of 2012 proved that indeed, Agriculture is no longer a male dominated industry as previously classified, since more young females are considering this field as their future profession" Serage added.
Congratulating the graduates and parents who rallied behind their children in anticipation of a better future and a better South Africa, MEC Mohono said, "I wish all other students could be inspired by these ceremonies, but above all, be encouraged by the courage and bravery shown by this group of graduates, who made it against all odds. We need female Agricultural Scientists and Specialists, and we encourage those from rural areas to take advantage of the training and funding platforms provided by government, and channel their future towards Agriculture".
Mohono said in an effort to ensure that the Potchefstroom College of Agriculture continues to be recognised as one of the best in the country, discussions with the Tshwane University of Technology are afoot to establish collaboration on a number of areas for 2013 and beyond.
"The future plan is to see this College offering B-Tech Degrees with effect from 2014", pronounced MEC Mohono.
Dr Mpho Dichaba from the University of South Africa (UNISA) gave the graduates a word of encouragement, assuring them that there are no short-cuts in Agriculture. "It is either you are prepared to work very hard or risk moving out of the industry with nothing", Dichaba said. She encouraged the graduates to take new experiences with good attitude, strive for good rewards in everything they do and be good ambassadors for the Agricultural industry.
The graduation ceremony was witnessed by College Lecturers, Departmental management, parents and well-wishers.