In a bid to advance sustainable farming practices in the ZF Mgcawu District, the Northern Cape provincial government, in partnership with Raisins SA, will launch the Vine Academy and Model Farm in Kakamas.
IN AN EFFORT to advance sustainable farming practices in the ZF Mgcawu District, the Northern Cape provincial government, in partnership with Raisins SA, will launch the Vine Academy and Model Farm in Kakamas on Thursday.
Office of the Premier spokesperson Bronwyn Thomas-Abrahams said the academy will be located at Martin Oosthuizen High School.
Thomas-Abrahams said learners will not only be equipped with practical experience once they have completed their studies, but it will also boost their chances of employment.
“This initiative stems from a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was signed between the Northern Cape Department of Education, Raisins SA and Martin Oosthuizen High School, aimed at addressing specific challenges, such as low production skills levels, employment equity, scarce and critical skills, black economic empowerment and the quality of skills delivery, that the industry is facing,” said Thomas-Abrahams.
“The Vine Academy and Model Farm will directly benefit the learners and the surrounding communities as a catalyst for sustainable growth, based on developing research and development capabilities supported through the development of human resource capabilities for the agricultural sector. The model farm will provide learners with an ideal opportunity to connect physically with farming activities.”
Thomas-Abrahams said the academy will also ensure that local youth are equipped with skills before they reach the tertiary education level.
“At high school level, the youth of tomorrow will have increased awareness of the relevance of the agricultural sector, with a concerted effort to raise the profile of the agri-sector to present career opportunities for the youth. The academy will offer an opportunity for those learners that cannot attend tertiary education, to attend and prepare themselves through the academy. The aim would be to prepare them for the workplace. Bursaries would be provided for students to study, support their high school careers, and for further tertiary studies at the academy.”
She added that the academy will also be a huge benefit to residents in the district.
“The development and establishment of a world-class Vine Academy and Model Farm will contribute significantly to the skills development in the entire ZF Mgcawu District. The academy will contribute to advancing sustainable farming practices. The academy will also strengthen development of the agri-sector, with key emphasis placed on previously disadvantaged individuals (PDIs) and transformation of the industry,” said Thomas-Abrahams.