The fourth annual AgriCareers roadshow has kicked off in the village of Kgapane outside Tzaneen in Limpopo, introducing nearly 1 500 high school learners to a wide range of study and career opportunities in the agriculture sector.
This year’s roadshow is powered by Laeveld Agrochem, Standard Bank, Kagiso Trust, Bayer, Health For Mzansi, and the South African National Seed Organisation (Sansor). Exhibitors at the Limpopo event included Agri Skills Transfer, HelloChoice, Westfalia Fruit, Tangible Africa, the University of Venda and AGRICOLLEGES international.
“I never knew that there were so many different career paths in agriculture – from farming and livestock production to food processing and marketing,” remarked Thabo Mabasa (17), who was visibly impressed by the range of exhibits on display.
Representing the Limpopo education department, the circuit manager Tryphina Radzuma, described the AgriCareers roadshow as a unique opportunity for learners to explore the vast world of agriculture and the many different career paths available in this exciting industry.
Opportunities excite learners
For the learners from the host school, Mandela Barloworld Agricultural High School in Modjadjiskloof, the event was also an eye-opener to the many opportunities in the agriculture sector.
Tshiamo Ramokgopa (16) said that the event had given her a new appreciation for the role that agriculture plays in the economy of South Africa. “I always thought that agriculture was just about farming, but now I see that it’s so much more than that. I did not even know that agriculture kept the economy going.”
The event, however, was not just an opportunity for learners to learn about different career paths in agriculture. It also highlighted the importance of agricultural education in South Africa, said Food For Mzansi co-founder and editor-in-chief, Ivor Price.
“Agriculture is one of the most important sectors of the South African economy, contributing significantly to job creation, food security, and economic growth.”
However, Price noted that there is a shortage of skilled workers in the agriculture sector, which is why events like AgriCareers are so important. “We need to encourage more young people to pursue careers in the sector – from agricultural engineering to plant pathology and farming – and to ensure that they have access to the education and training they need to succeed.”
‘A fantastic time to be in agriculture’
Shaun Welmans, the chief operations officer of Agri Skills Transfer, a subsidiary of Laeveld Agrochem, congratulated Food For Mzansi on the arrangements for the AgriCareers event. He said, “What a fantastic time to be in agriculture; to be involved in the networks that are currently rising…”
For learners like Karabo Tlou (18) of Dinao Secondary School in Makarung, the AgriCareers event was the very first career exhibition that he ever attended.
“I really enjoyed it and never knew that there were so many different courses you could take to study agriculture, from agronomy and horticulture to animal science and agricultural economics. Today, I heard about jobs that I didn’t even know existed.”
Another learner, Kabelo Phasha (16) from Ntsose Secondary School in Bochum, said that the event had inspired him to consider a career in agriculture.
“I never thought about farming as a career before, but after seeing all the different types of farming on display here, I’m starting to think that it might be a good fit for me,” he said.
An agri celebration
As South Africa continues to grapple with issues of unemployment and economic growth, it is clear that agriculture will play a critical role in driving development and creating jobs in the years to come, added Mapisa Tshabalala, an up-and-coming farmer from Tzaneen.
“Events like AgriCareers are essential in ensuring that the country has a steady supply of skilled workers to meet the demands of this vital sector. When I heard that Food For Mzansi was coming to our town, I simply had to pop in to say hello and to celebrate along with all the learners,” he said.
- On Wednesday, 22 February 2023 the Mpumalanga leg of this year’s AgriCareers roadshow will be held at Morgenzon Landbou Akademie in Morgenzon. On Friday, Gauteng learners will gather at Bekker High School in Magaliesburg.