Township pupils have been urged to consider following careers in the agricultural sector.
The plea came from Mpumalanga's agriculture, rural development, land and environmental affairs MEC, Andries Gamede, who recently spoke at the Fundinjobo Secondary School in Kabokweni outside White River.
"I am encouraging you pupils to pursue careers in agriculture because it has moved from being a khakis and shorts career, but has become more scientific. There are careers such as veterinary, crop and soil scientists and many more fields within the department," said Gamede.
The MEC's visit was part of a back to school campaign in which he was checking the school's state of readiness and encouraging teachers and pupils to kick-start the year with determination.
Gamede also encouraged the pupils to participate in the school gardens programme and to fall in love with farming.
He later donated garden tools, fencing, implements and fertilisers to help the school expand its small vegetable garden in the yard.
Although the school produced good matric results in 2015 with a pass rate well over 80%, the MEC encouraged them to do better this year.
Grade 11 pupil, Aggie Dlamini, 16, said she was happy to hear such inspiring words from a political leader.
"I am motivated to pursue a career in agriculture. It has been my dream to become an agricultural economist so that I can help agricultural co-operatives in the province," said Dlamini.