The minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana, recently paid a visit to the Grootfontein Agricultural Development Institute and the Fort Cox College of Agriculture and Forestry. This formed part of the Government Imbizo Focus Week, an unmediated information-sharing platform for government and the people.
Education and training in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors are confronted by various challenges including the legislation governing the colleges of agriculture, employability of agriculture college graduates and the participation of women and youth in the three sectors. The Imbizo emphasised the implementation of norms and standards for agricultural training institutes, which is expected to be officially endorsed as a guideline to the mandate of these colleges.
These gatherings allowed stakeholders in the education and training of the three sectors to engage in order to drive the development agenda of food security and rural wealth creation.
About the colleges
The Grootfontein Agricultural Development Institute is a specialised centre of excellence in small stock production, with a proven record of training in wool and mohair production. The college is situated in the dry Karoo town of Middelburg, surrounded by Cradock, Graaff-Reinet and Colesberg, which are dominantly small stock farming areas. Grootfontein has developed a partnership with the wool and mohair industry and is well-known for its research in this field.
The Fort Cox College of Agriculture and Forestry is a centre of excellence in forestry. It is located near the Kat Valley citrus-growing area. It is near the University of Fort Hare, making it easier to tap on the expertise from the university in support of its training programmes. Fort Cox is the only college that is semi-independent and governed by a board appointed by the MEC for Agriculture in the Eastern Cape, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, to provide leadership and oversight. – Press release