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TVET college helps garlic farmer grow skills

'There’s a lot I had not paid attention to'

Garlic farmer Khodani Maano is reaping the benefits of the skills he has gained through his studies.
Garlic farmer Khodani Maano is reaping the benefits of the skills he has gained through his studies.
Image: Vukuzenzele

Khodani Maano realised from an early age that he had a passion for farming. He persuaded his parents to send him to a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college to study primary agriculture. Today, Maano is a garlic farmer and is also a student at Mashamba TVET College.

Maano, 22, from Divhane village in Limpopo, dropped out of grade 11 in 2019, and though his farming enterprise is flourishing, he says the practical training he’s receiving while studying towards a national certificate: vocational NC(V) in primary agriculture has given him a better understanding of the work he does.  

Apart from producing garlic on his leased 4ha plot, Maano also harvests butternut, maize, beetroot, sugar beans, green beans and onions.

“When I went to the TVET college I was already used to working the land and taking from what my mother and father taught me at an early age. However, being in a formal farming programme is invaluable. I thought I knew a lot, but am realising there’s a lot about farming I had not paid attention to,” said Maano.

He said his parents were not happy when he left school but they understood that he was more of an agricultural person.

“I did not like other trades or businesses. Being at a TVET college has shown me that I was not less intelligent, I just had to find something relevant and practical.” 

Maano chose garlic because not a lot of people grow it. He employs three people and his goal is to expand production. “I want my own large portion of land and to employ more workers. I want to put my village on the map.” 

What is an NC(V) programme?

According to the SA Qualifications Authority, NC(V) programmes equip learners with practical skills, applied competence and the knowledge required for employment in a particular occupation or trade. Each TVET college has its own admission dates. Visit your local TVET college’s website to inquire about its NC(V) programmes.

– This article first appeared in the GCIS Vuk'uzenzele

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