MEC urges youth to study at Tukkies

Khangale Makhado

Khangale Makhado

Limpopo MEC for Agriculture Dikeledi Magadzi yesterday called on the youth in the province to participate in agriculture, saying the sector was a critical component of the economy.

Addressing a two-day agricultural conference held at Aosis Motel in Polokwane, Magadzi told more than 200 youths and other guests that the conference, an annual event, was borne out of a realisation that young people did not invest in agriculture.

"The provincial growth and development strategy identifies agriculture as one of the pillars of economic development that gives Limpopo the competitive edge to realise our vision of being the main contributor to national wealth by 2020," said Magadzi.

She added that Limpopo currently produced 45percent of citrus, 57percent of macadamia, 60percent of tomatoes and 70percent of mangoes in the country.

Magadzi, however, said she failed to understand what it was that the province was doing wrong because while producing such large quantities, agriculture as a whole only contributed a mere two percent of the province's GDP.

Magadzi lamented the fact that only a few students undertook further studies in agriculture.

She said it was regrettable that while they had an arrangement with the University of Pretoria to sponsor 30 students for further agricultural studies each year, only nine were currently registered at Tukkies.

Another initiative set out by the province envisages putting into practice 'AgriBEE' which will establish guiding principles for economic empowerment in agriculture in a manner that will build on transformation efforts, Magadzi added.