The premier of Northern Cape Dr Zamani Saul has called on young agriculture graduates to come forward for work placement.
Saul was speaking at the Hantam Sports Ground in Calvinia where he outlined the plans he has for the province.
Through the unemployed agriculture graduate programme, the province places young people who have agriculture qualifications in various commercial enterprises across the province.
“The next intake will be in the 2023/24 financial years where 80 graduates will be placed. If you know any young person with a degree in agriculture, just inform us, they will be placed because we are an agricultural province,” Saul said.
Food security is a concern
Saul said the province’s food insecurity rate concerned him but vowed that his administration would work around the clock to ensure food security challenges in the province become a thing of the past.
“The 10% increase in food insecure households is concerning and requires a multi-sectoral approach. Half of the households with children who experience hunger, [are] in urban areas,” he pointed out.
The Northern Cape is reported to have the highest proportion of households experiencing hunger.
Saul said as it were, government intervention in food security included the provision of grant support for infrastructure development on land reform for farms, improved production, training and capacity building for farmers, as well as technical and extension services.
“We continue to provide pre and post-settlement support to land reform beneficiaries in the province.”
Kimberley first in line
“However, the government’s first priority is to address infrastructure challenges faced by all our towns, the starting point we are focusing on Kimberley,” the premier said.
Referring to the recent death of farmworkers in the province, Saul pointed out that climate change had already started impacting locals. At least seven farmworkers from different farms in the Northern Cape have died of severe heatstroke since the start of the year.
“The raging veld fires and floods around the province threaten the provincial livestock and crop industries,” he said.
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