WHILE young people in the Eastern Cape took more of an interest in agriculture, their lack of practical off-campus experience made it difficult for them to do their jobs, Rural Development and Agrarian Reform MEC Zoleka Capa said yesterday.
Her department received a budget of R1.867-billion for the 2014-15 financial year, of which R13-million will go towards training budding farmers at the Farmer Training Centre and R11.4-million will be given to agricultural colleges in the province.
Capa said young people who were interested in farming were catching on a lot faster to the new technology and methods of farming. However, they lacked practical skills.
“There is no off-campus experience and this is due to the lack of funds to do this. But I’m happy to report that more than 300 graduates are employed in the agricultural sector.
“Many are taking the opportunity to complement their time of not having off-campus experience, especially on things such as ploughing,” Capa said.
“Young people are really taken up with agriculture. You don’t only see old faces when you attend agriculture meetings anymore.”
The rest of the budget for her department will go to:
- The EC Rural Development Agency – R70-million;
- Crop production for food security – R133-million;
- Fencing for arable land – R9-million; and
- An animal health clinic – R8-million. – Rochelle de Kock