Women And Youth Encouraged To Take Advantage Of Agriculture Value Chain


The KwaZulu-Natal Premier is calling on women and youth to take advantage of job opportunities in the agriculture sector, created through programmes and entrepreneurship. Women and the youth make up half of the country's population, yet they suffer the most with poverty and high unemployment rates. 



KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, says youth entrepreneurs (particularly women) must take advantage of the entire agriculture value chain, including agro-processing. 

The Premier praised the youth for taking up valuable space in agriculture at the unveiling of the Multi-Planting Season Programme, which aims to provide necessary assistance to underprivileged farmers. 

Dube-Ncube added that there is a need to focus on youth and women in agriculture, because the majority of the population is made up of these demographics, but women still continue to face gender inequality which contributes to the unemployment rate and rising crisis of poverty in South Africa. 

On paper, South Africa's women should be succeeding. The country has solid female representation in high Government positions, there are laws protecting the rights of the women, women have marched and fought for those rights, and there are now more equal opportunities to gain a decent education.

Despite all these triumphs, education inequality presents as a challenge globally, and is reflective in the higher unemployment rate amongst women than amongst men in South Africa.

“Moreover, it is always said that the face of poverty is that of a woman. Therefore, it is crucial that we involve women and youth in programmes and projects that aim to eradicate poverty,” Dube-Ncube said.

According to a recent report by African Union Development Agency, agribusiness remains central to food security, job creation, and inclusive growth in many low-income countries, providing decent jobs and incomes for women and youth in agribusiness.

The creation of jobs and incomes for women and youth in agribusiness has an important spillover effect on economic and social development outcomes.

“We are proud of the young people, who through the Provincial Youth Fund, are already playing a significant role in the agricultural space and helping our province create much-needed jobs,” Dube-Ncube said. 

Dube-Ncube also said in the 2022/23 financial year, the Department of Agriculture has assisted farmers to cultivate 22,310 hectares in the 11 municipal districts; during the multi-planting season a total of 2,000 hectares will be planted in uGu District. 

“The multi-planting season in uGu District has created job opportunities for 800 people, comprising of 650 females, 150 males, 50 young people and 10 people living with disabilities,” she said.

Destructive floods took place earlier this year in KZN had a devastating impact on small-scale farmers. It will take some time to recover from the after-effects of the floods, which destroyed agricultural crops in the process. 

“The government’s intervention in the form of Multi-Planting Season Programme is an effort to cushion the blows while simultaneously ensuring that food security is not compromised. Smallholder farmers have a huge role to play in sustaining food and nutrition security in rural communities during and post Covid-19, hence the need to increase support for them,” the Premier said. 

She called on private sector to support government’s efforts, by extending loans to finance Black Economic Empowerment deals in the agriculture sector.





Google News

Advertisement i

Advertisement m