Developing youth for the future of agriculture

by | Jun 15, 2020 | Article, News

Over the past five years, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) has spent R53.7 million on programmes targeting the development of our youth.

Nine hundred and ninety-three (993) beneficiaries benefitted from these bursaries, scholarships, internships (graduate, student, matric and vacation), exchange programmes and the Young Professional Persons Programme.

The WCDoA signed 100 Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) with host employers (farmers and agricultural entities). These agreements expanded the human capital programmes throughout the province and specifically in rural areas.

Close to 12 000 youth were provided with career information promoting Agriculture as a career of choice through agricultural shows, exhibitions, open days and mobile Thusong Centres.

In the 2019/2020 period the WCDoA awarded one hundred and three bursaries and five scholarships.

  • Thirty rural youth benefitted from the Agricultural Partnership for Youth Development project, which places beneficiaries on a one-year internship.
  • Forty-one student and graduate interns were taken up in the Department’s work-integrated learning programme.
  • One hundred and thirty agricultural graduate interns were appointed on the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Placement Programme.
  • Ten Young Professional Persons (9 Masters and 1 Doctorate) were supported.

The Department also awards bursaries in line with career opportunities emanating from the 4th Industrial Revolution. The first group of 14 officials, interns and students are in the process of obtaining their Remote Pilot License (RPL) which will qualify them to fly a drone legally. The combination of an RPL and an agricultural qualification will open a whole range of career opportunities in the sector.

The WCDoA commitment to youth resulted in the Department in collaboration with Wesgro, partnering with the African Development Bank to host the third Annual African Youth Agripreneur Forum (AYAF) in 2019.  “We did so because job creation amongst the youth and particularly youth within the agriculture sector is a priority for the Western Cape Government,” says Ivan Meyer, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture.

“My recent visit to the youth tunnel farmer, Byron Booysen, who is a recipient of funding as well as extension and advisory support from the Department once again confirmed that our youth remains our greatest asset. It is certainly encouraging to see how these young people are making a difference in the agricultural landscape.”

For more information on the Department’s skills development opportunities click on

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