A PROFESSIONAL doctor, Obakeng Mfikwe encouraged the youth to participate in farming. Mfikwe said this during the youth award ceremony at Lichtenburg on Friday.
Mfikwe joined farming back in 2009. He exchanged his stethoscope to become a livestock farmer.
“We need to encourage the youth to be part of farming industry. I attribute my success as a livestock farmer to the study group I belong to. Participating at various agricultural shows and sharing ideas assisted me a lot. We also shared ideas and experiences with fellow farmers,” he said.
“The young farmers contribute meaningfully to the economy of the country. They also help in shaping the vision of agricultural sector towards prosperity,” he said.
MEC of rural, environment and agricultural development, Manketsi Tlhape said the agriculture seen as not being cool amongst the youth. However Tlhape said they need to change the mindset.
She said they challenged the youth to participate in agriculture as the industry is viable.
Tlhape awarded five youth those who showed their pedigree within the industry during the award ceremony.
“We encourage the youth to be part of revolution. They can make a lot of money within the industry. So the time is now for you to get your hands dirty. The majority of the youth regard agriculture simply not cool or attractive.
“Mostly think of it only as back-breaking labour. However the industry economical pays-off. There is also a room for career advancement. With an ageing population of farmers, it’s clear that agriculture needs to attract more young people,” Tlhape said.
“We have empowerment programmes towards youth and women. We also transformed the agriculture sector. The 40% of what we allocate benefits youth and women. We have also resuscitated our program within our agricultural department which is YARD.
“In every allocation we make, I intervene to make sure 40% is available to projects run by youth and women. We are having these awards to recognise those who showed effort in the industry,” she said.
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