South Africa and the Netherlands strengthen link between education and agri-business

Publication date: Apr 10, 2019 07:38 AM

Dutch and South African stakeholders from the agricultural, educational and governmental sectors came together from 2 to 5 April for the launch of a brand new bilateral collaboration project that aims to contribute to the strengthening education to better interact and match with agri-business. This multi-million Rand project will be implemented from 2019 – 2022 under the capacity development programme, the Orange Knowledge programme funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by Nuffic.

The project, SEAD-SA, will be implemented in two key agricultural provinces namely Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal in specific agricultural sectors identified by stakeholders and experts in the field. The project will offer students practical teaching and exposure to increase employability and simultaneously contribute to strengthening the staff poll for the relevant industries. This will be done through the development of 4 Agri-Education parks (AEPs), 3 in KZN and 1 in Western Cape. The AEPS are physical locations that brings together emerging networks of relevant educational institutes, companies, NGOs and government agencies. Hereby it creates a direct link between education and industry expertise, resources and labour demand.

Deputy-director general Mooketsa Ramasodi, department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, emphasized the relevance of the SEAD-SA project. “This project bringing education and agri-business could not have come at a more opportune time for South Africa”. This will fortify the engagements on the National Youth Policy 2020 and strategies in agriculture, forestry and fisheries aimed towards sustainable skills development.

Mary Peters, Elangeni College, and Harm Holleman, Aeres, as the lead South African and Dutch organisation in the programme, shared their views on the importance of creating meaningful and sustainable collaboration to enhance the linkages with the agricultural industries and education.

Mervin Bakker, Regional Director at Nuffic Neso South Africa elaborates: “We are excited that with the launch of this Orange Knowledge project in Pietermaritzburg under the leadership of local lead organisation, Elangeni College and Dutch consortium leader, Aeres, the spotlight is on driving the TVET sector more towards the job market.  Freddy Weima, Director-General echoed this sentiment in his address to the group. “We are especially happy to see a TVET college as the local lead partner and hope to see this in more of our projects.

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last modified Jul 31, 2019 12:44 PM