Plans are under way for the opening of an agricultural college in the Nkangala district.
The idea for such a venture was conceived by Mpumalanga’s department of agriculture, rural development and land administration.
The new college will operate as a satellite campus of the Lowveld College of Agriculture, and will be located at the site of the former Marapyane College of Education at Senotlelo, near Siyabuswa.
The institution will be offering three-year diploma and two-year certificate courses in crop production and animal husbandry.
According to the chief director of the Lowveld College of Agriculture, Stemmer Ndala, the department, in partnership with the college, has already set up its career guidance campaign at various high schools to alert pupils about opportunities in agriculture. The sector is also a major contributor to the province’s economy.
He said the satellite campus was expected to revive agricultural practices in the still largely rural area.
“We are embarking on a recruiting trail for learners,” said Ndala.
“We are targeting both those with a passion for agriculture and those with no clue what this field entails.
“Agriculture remains a big employer in the province but we still lack skilled workers in this field. The growth of this sector depends on the number of skilled professionals we produce.” Ndala said application forms were obtainable from the regional departmental offices in KwaMhlanga, Nelspruit and Ermelo, and the department’s website.