Empowering Youth in Agriculture

The Government mandate AFASA KZN and the Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development to provide food security in the province, educate the youth about agriculture, empower woman, disabled people and the youth and to assist emerging farmers to become commercial farmers.

AFASA KwaZulu-Natal, The Open Air School and the Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development have joined forces on the Open Air project as a first step to reach this goal. Mr Mark Lombaard was appointed by AFASA KZN as provincial research and marketing officer at both provincial and eThekwini district level. He contracted the Open Air School to discuss cooperation. He met with the school’s Deputy Principal, Mr Noel Moodley and Mr Nkosi Ndlovu, AFASA KZN youth president. Mr Moodley was positive about introducing a produce growing project at the school. The aim will be to train young pupils, who are academically challenged, to grow produce. “I am very grateful that the school was taken to be involved in this project. This is a good opportunity for pupils to see if they have green fingers. This is not just an educational opportunity, but will empower them to explore avenues of employment. South Africa definitely needs more people in agriculture. We don’t want education to be limited to the classroom and it’s wonderful that in our 90th year we are initiating a pilot like this,” said Mr Moodley . “We are also interested to establish a more comprehensive project at the Open Air Hostel. This may enable the school to drastically reduce the cost of food. The hostel students will at the same time receive training in agriculture,” Mr Lombaard said.