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SA Harvest entrepreneurial initiative empowers youth skilled in agriculture

As part of the SA Harvest entrepreneurial incubator initiative supported by Naspers Labs, 10 previously unemployed post-graduate students took part in a week-long training programme focused on providing them with a National Certificate in Plant Production, a crucial step toward agricultural management and entrepreneurship

Since February last year, the 10 youth have been working at the Lusikisiki branch of SA Harvest, receiving hands-on training and experience in logistics, warehouse management, and other aspects of SA Harvest’s food rescue operation, along with practical training on plant production. The second phase in their educational journey was their participation in the officially accredited National Certificate in Plant Production programme delivered by Agricolleges in Tzaneen. After a year of hands-on experience at SA Harvest, these students will be equipped to start their own agri-food businesses. This initiative aims to create a sustainable cycle by continually training new cohorts of students and expanding into other provinces and areas.

The National Certificate in Plant Production programme provides students with a comprehensive understanding of agricultural management, team supervision, quality assurance, and decision-making. Graduates of this programme will have the skills necessary to specialise in plant production, maintain high standards, and contribute to the agricultural sector while accessing various markets.

This initiative is not only transforming the lives of these ten young individuals but also promises to have a lasting impact on the agricultural sector and the communities they serve. By equipping young entrepreneurs with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in agriculture, this initiative is making significant strides toward ending hunger and unemployment in South Africa.

SA Harvest's founder and CEO, Alan Browde, emphasised the importance of integrating charity feeding with practical solutions. "To achieve SA Harvest's mission of ending hunger, it is essential that the charity feeding concept is integrated with finding practical solutions to the systemic causes of hunger, and our Lusikisiki branch does this in action," said Browde.

Nomsa Nombiba, one of the Lusikisiki graduates enrolled in the SA Harvest entrepreneurial incubator, shared her experience and ambitions, emphasising the motivation she found in the diverse group of young people dedicated to taking agriculture in South Africa to new heights. She said, "Most of us are motivated to start our own farms, give back to the community, and make a difference."

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