|2nd Annual Thabo Makgoba Lecture |
Head of Department of Agriculture in Limpopo, Honorable Jaqueline Maisela said although Limpopo had a higher percentage of households engaged in agriculture lack of farming skills remained a challenge to sustainable rural livelihoods.
Maisela was addressing the overriding theme of ‘Skills Development and Rural Livelihood’ at the 2nd Annual Archbishop Thabo Makgoba Lecture hosted by the University of Limpopo and the Archbishop Thabo Makgoba Development Trust.
Now in its second year, the South African Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town and Chancellor of the University of the Western Cape, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba said the partnership between the University and the Trust aimed to have a greater social impact by addressing the issues of food security and to promote best practices on agriculture in rural areas of Limpopo.
In her address, Maisela highlighted the need to expand irrigated agriculture, supplemented by dry-land production targeting to put one million hectares of land into production. “This should also contribute towards the creation of one million jobs by the agriculture and agro-processing sector, by 2030,” she explained
Maisela informed the agricultural students and lecturers that research and skills development are the key factors towards achieving sustainability. She said her department forged several partnerships with the University to help link production, processing, packaging, storage and marketing of products produced by local farmers.
The emphasis of the partnership is on local beneficiation of primary produce aimed at establishing small agro industries and stimulate economic activities in areas where production is taking place, therefore unlocking other non-agricultural economic opportunities.
One partnership is SmartAgri led by Professor Kwabena Ayisi, Risk and Vulnerability Assessment Centre Manager at UL. The project has provided a road map for actionable and prioritised initiatives that will take the agricultural sector road towards greater resilience in the face of climate challenges.
As proceedings for Women Month Celebrations continued, Maisela said the Department of Agriculture in Limpopo established deliberated programmes that specifically targeted women farmers, as 60% of the households in Limpopo are headed by women. According to the South African Vulnerability Assessment Committee survey conducted in 2015, women also constitute a higher percentage of households that are involved in farming in Limpopo.
Date created: 2016-08-24 14:22:21