UPDATE: The webinar has finished, but you can register to see the recording of this webinar here.
Stand up and be counted, young farmers of Mzansi! It is not too late to register for the Youth in Agriculture webinar presented tomorrow as part of the annual VKB Food For Mzansi Power Talk series this month.
Tomorrow, Food For Mzansi will be celebrating young farmers and agriculturists from across South Africa as part of the commemoration of the on 16 June 1976. We will be exploring the future of agriculture through the eyes of the youth, with some of the nation’s brightest young minds confirmed as webinar panellists.
This includes Keatlegile Mnguni, a dynamic livestock farmer and youth chairperson of the African Farmers’ Association of South Africa (Afasa). Melvin Swartz, a project coordinator at the department of agriculture, land reform and rural development, is also on the line-up as well as hydroponics farmer Byron Booysen, who is the managing director of Booysen’s Tunnel Farming in Kraaifontein in the Western Cape.
Hundreds of young, agricultural movers and shakers have already registered to attend the free webinar tomorrow from 11:00 to 12:30. It will be hosted by Food For Mzansi’s editor, Dawn Noemdoe, who says excitement is building, also from within #TeamFoodForMzansi.
She says, “At Food For Mzansi, we’ve made it our mission to not only celebrate young farmers on special days, such as Youth Day. We actively feature the brightest young agri minds who are doing their best to help shape the future of farming.”
According to the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), Sub-Saharan Africa is home to over 200 million young people and 70% of the youth resides in rural areas. Employed youth work primarily in the agricultural sector, where they account for 65% of the workforce.
The interactive webinar discussion will also touch on how the youth can develop a genuine connection to food production, and if new technologies really are the answer to change the face of agriculture. A core focus will also be on the opening up of the industry for new entrants into farming and agro-processing.
Programme for ‘Youth in Agriculture’ webinar
Tuesday, 16 June 2020 from 11:00 to 12:30
10:55 – 11:00 Welcome remarks and programme overview: Dawn Noemdoe, editor of Food For Mzansi
11:00 – 11:10 Engaging youth in agriculture: Melvin Swartz, project coordinator at the department of agriculture, land reform and rural development
Melvin Swartz obtained a Master’s of Philosophy degree in land and agrarian studies at the University of the Western Cape in 2015. He us currently pursuing his PhD at the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS). He also conducted research for the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) for more than a decade. Investigating youth involvement in agriculture was one of the first projects he undertook at the ARC, and he published a paper on the topic in 2013.
11:10 – 11:20 Dedicating my life to agri: Keatlegile Mnguni, livestock farmer and youth chairperson of the African Farmers’ Association of South Africa (Afasa)
Keatlegile Mnguni has dedicated her life to working on her family’s farm, Trigaardspoort, in Gauteng. Since graduating from Cape Peninsula University of Technology in 2017 where she studied food and beverage management, Mnguni has completed multiple courses in beef production, animal production, disease management and general agricultural management.
11:20 – 11:30 I am agriculture: Byron Booysen, managing director of Booysen’s Tunnel Farming
Byron Booysen is the managing director of Booysen’s Tunnel Farming and farms with cocktail and beef tomatoes in Kraaifontein, Cape Town. Booysen completed a BA degree in sports science at Stellenbosch University and a post-graduate diploma in applied ethics.
11:30 – 11:40 Food security in Africa: Dr Ethel Phiri, Lecturer at the department of agronomy at Stellenbosch University
Dr Ethel Phiri completed her PhD in 2014 at Stellenbosch University on molecular systematics and biogeography. Since obtaining her PhD she’s been conducting research on food crops, particularly on underutilised indigenous plants. She has a key interest in food security in Africa, especially in relation to improving the re-adoption of orphan and underutilised crops into our diets, and developing the markets and demand for them in commercial spaces.
11:40 – 11:50 Alternative Crops: Heinrich Gerwel, Lecturer at department of agricultural economics, Stellenbosch University
Heinrich Gerwel currently works in the department of agricultural economics of Stellenbosch University while teaching part-time at the School of Economics of the University of Cape Town. Heinrich’s research interests include development economics, social theory and policy, and productivity analysis.
From 11:50 to 12:30 the panellist will interact with the webinar participant and engage in the various discussion topics.
Click here to still register your attendance for the Youth Day webinar.