About 120 graduate agricultural interns took up their two-year internship within the Western Cape agriculture sector on December 9.
Western Cape Agriculture Minister Ivan Meyer welcomed the placement of the interns, saying that the provincial department had prioritised the structuring of education and training, as well as farmer support and development.
According to Meyer, his department is seeking to improve the employability of agricultural graduates through on-the-job experience at major agricultural host farms and entrepreneurial entities.
“The initiative targets qualified unemployed graduates in agriculture, who want to venture into entrepreneurial projects related to agriculture. The key placement areas within agriculture are livestock rearing and poultry production, horticulture/crop production, aquaculture production, viticulture, agroprocessing, agricultural extension and agricultural economics,” he said.
Meyer said the internship creates a pool of future farmers and entrepreneurs among young people and reduces youth unemployment.
“We must provide a platform for the active participation of youth in the agriculture value chain and create an enabling environment to support the establishment of youth-owned and/or managed enterprises.”