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Ivor Price | 14 May 2024

Explore the impactful partnerships between Agri SA Enterprises and AgriSETA as they empower rural communities through skills training, economic empowerment, and youth engagement efforts.

In a new episode of the Farmers Inside Track podcast, leaders in agriculture shared valuable insights into the collaborative efforts driving rural development and transformation in South Africa. Representatives from Agri SA Enterprises and AgriSETA provided key perspectives on ongoing initiatives and future projects aimed at empowering rural communities and fostering sustainable agricultural practices.

The podcast discussion illuminated the multifaceted approach undertaken by AgriSETA, with a focus on three pivotal pillars: skills development, economic empowerment, and youth engagement.

Medupi Shabangu, executive manager of learning programmes and projects at AgriSETA, elaborated on the organisation’s strategic alignment with the needs of rural communities. Through annual sector skills planning sessions, AgriSETA collaborates closely with agricultural unions and stakeholders to identify skills priorities and tailor training programmes accordingly.

Shabangu emphasised the importance of investing in young people and equipping them with the necessary skills to thrive in agriculture. AgriSETA’s initiatives include career summits for high school learners and internship programmes aimed at facilitating the transition of graduates into gainful employment opportunities within the agricultural sector.

Future projects to scale up farmers

Craig Murrell, head of advisory services, rural development and social investment at Agri SA Enterprises, highlighted the significance of partnerships in driving inclusive economic growth. He stressed the need to equip new-era farmers with the tools and knowledge to run their businesses sustainably, thereby creating employment opportunities and enhancing food security.

One of the notable collaborative efforts discussed was the Women in Farming programme, which has empowered female entrepreneurs in rural communities to establish successful businesses. Murrell underscored the importance of targeted support and mentorship in enabling these entrepreneurs to thrive.

The speakers also addressed challenges faced in implementing rural development projects, including access to funding and addressing land ownership issues. However, they stressed the importance of strategic partnerships between the public and private sectors in overcoming these challenges and driving meaningful change.

Looking ahead, Agri SA Enterprises and AgriSETA expressed optimism about upcoming projects aimed at scaling up their impact and empowering more rural communities. These initiatives include targeted training programmes, job creation initiatives, and efforts to promote youth participation in agriculture.

‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


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