Agricultural careers go well beyond farming, discovered more than 600 Northern Cape learners at a fun-filled exhibition hosted by AgriSETA and the Northern Cape Rural TVET College’s Kathu campus earlier this week.
The exhibition was geared towards grade 8 to 11 learners from Kathu and Kuruman, both in the north-eastern corner of the province. It was AgriSETA’s third career summit this financial year. The organisation was supported by its strategic partners – the department of agriculture, land reform and rural development and the Agriculture Research Council.
Besides study and career opportunities in agriculture, learners also were exposed to possibilities offered by sister SETAs and other exhibitors. This included the South African Sugar Association Food Imports & Exports Standards Geo-Informatics (Survey General), Onderstepoort Biological Products (OBP) OBP, OVK, and Absa, among others.
AgriSETA chief executive Dr Innocent Sirovha said, “Agriculture is relevant. There is no doubt that everybody has witnessed its impact during and post the Covid-19 pandemic. It held the country together during a time when the whole world was in a crisis. We applaud the sector for its resilience and impact, not only for food and medicine security and exports, but for its contribution to South Africa’s GDP”
Sirovha added that AgriSETA also encouraged agripreneurship.
“We also intend to soon approach agribusiness leaders to provide input into the training programmes,” he said. “We want to connect agricultural colleges with commercial farmers and place students for practical experience with farmers. The organisation can pay the students a grant for about 18 months.”
“Please teach them practical skills,” Sirovha urged.
AgriSETA creates and promotes opportunities for social, economic and employment growth for agri-enterprises through relevant, quality and accessible education, training and development in both primary and secondary agriculture, in conjunction with other stakeholders in agriculture.
The Northern Cape career exhibitions follows a recent thumbs-up to AgriSETA by higher education, science and innovation minister Dr Blade Nzimande. He applauded AgriSETA for receiving an unqualified audit opinion from the auditor-general of South Africa.
Nzimande noted that the financial statements submitted by the organisation contained “no irregular, no fruitless, no wasteful, [and] no unauthorised expenditure”.