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Nation in Conversation at Nampo ends with Our youth, our future

  • 18 May 2018
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Anchored by Andile Khumalo, this session tackled issues that affect the youth and the opportunities they haven’t explored yet within the agricultural sector. The panel included Agricultural Economist and Columnist Hamlet Hlomendlini, Political Analyst Mpumelelo Mkhabela ; Agricultural Economist and columnist Wandile Sihlobo; Farmer and Agricultural Activist Nono Sekhoto; Farmer Anthony Goble and Grain SA’s Dirk Strydom. 
‘’Agriculture lies in the passion’’, this sentiment was echoed by most of the panellists saying that it is important to be passionate about agriculture to be a part of it. 

Anthony reminded the audience, which consisted of students from various high schools that there were jobs available all along the food value chain. “The agricultural sector goes beyond just being a farmer. Food processing, logistics, agronomy etc are all sectors that have exciting job prospects. When asked if he was worried about land expropriation without compensation he said he was not worried at all. “Because the caveat is that the president said it would not happen if it was a threat to food security.”

The panel expressed the need for government and agribusinesses to collaborate to create agri education facilities. “The former agri-colleges should be re-opened,” said Mpumelelo.

Alluding to the issue of land, Nono said that it was important that “people know and understand the full implication of what farming entails before they receive the land. “Else we are setting them up for failure.”

When a white learner in the audience invited the panel to discuss the fact that “only black people are being given jobs in the sector.” Mpumelelo responded by saying that it was unfortunate that he is experiencing this reality but “young people should collaborate with each other to overcome obstacles. Partner with others, join organised agriculture and keep knocking on different doors,” he said.

The show also looked at barriers to entry for youth who are interested in a career in agriculture while also highlighting the wide array of skills required from the farm to the table.

And with that, four days Nation in Conversation was wrapped up for 2018. Watch the full discussion on www.nationinconversation.co.za








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