18 September 2017

South Africa: New Horizons for Youth and Agriculture

analysis

Making agriculture cool does not mean rocking up in Gucci overalls and Nike boots to rev the tractor or milk the cattle; it simply means an agricultural sector that is efficient, capacitated, productive and sustainable for better markets and increased investment.

"We need to make agriculture cool if we are to interest young people back into the trade," bellowed Malose, a young farmer from Mokopane to his 30 or so peers who had gathered as part of BackChat to discuss youth participation in agriculture.

He was introduced to farming through the National Rural Youth Service Corps, a programme focusing on rural youth development which has churned out tens of thousands of graduates who possess various skills and are making a difference in their rural communities.

Malose went on about the need to make young people know that agriculture works, and that through it they can earn a living, contribute to the country's food security and grow the economy.

Before the suits and ties inspired by Hollywood star Michael Douglas about the reign of finance and the services sector, khakis and boots were the order of the day among young Afrikaner Turks who looked forward to inheriting their fathers' farms.

Among...

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