THE Mopani district municipality in Limpopo has launched its agricultural training of young people from rural areas to help boost food production in the province.
Executive mayor of Mopani district Joshua Matlou said some of the young people would be sent to India's Trivandrum district municipality for training and to get expertise that will benefit the province.
Addressing an Indian delegation during a wrap-up session in Tzaneen on Tuesday night, Matlou said this would be done as part of an exchange programme between his municipality and the Trivandrum district municipality at Kerala in India.
A three-member Indian delegation arrived in Mopani last week and had since visited various agricultural projects in five local municipalities.
Matlou said the district, whose economy depended entirely on agriculture, was proud to be associated with Trivandrum district which had rural development as a cornerstone of development.
Matlou said some hard-working students from the district could be sent to India to further their studies in agriculture from next year.
This would be done through the Mopani district bursary scheme for people living in disadvantaged rural areas.
"We will also send some officials to India for them to observe how they may utilise resources available in Mopani to create jobs for local people and to boost the economy," Matlou said.
The president of Tivendrum district municipality, Anavoor Nagappan, said they would consider exchanging the good practices followed in Trivandrum district in identified areas such as :
l establish a district level soil-testing lab with mobile soil-testing facilities;
l cooperative programmes for poor women and self-help groups in banana cultivation;
l micro-irrigation and fertilisation methods;
l piggery and cattle farming units.
Nagappan also indicated that they would soon invite the Matlou to India to observe how agriculture is being done in their area.
He said the two countries had a similarity in soil texture and vegetation as both are near the Indian Ocean.