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The number of jobs in the South African agricultural sector is decreasing, due in part to the lack of sustainable agricultural business skills within the emerging farmers segment. In 2011, the Rural Development and Land Reform ministry report indicated that nine out of 10 farms transferred to black farmers had failed because farmers lacked the capacity to conduct viable farming businesses. The success of emerging farmers requires excellent applied practical, managerial and business skills to ensure a profitable enterprise in a globally competitive environment.

This project aims to reduce bottlenecks in the farming food chain and develop commercially viable farming enterprises. Bakgatlha Balimi  has developed an effective learning-by-doing farmer training programme to address problems faced by emerging farmers. The project trains farmers, who either own land or are beneficiaries of government land reform programmes but lack the skills to productively use their land. Farmers also receive support after the training to set up their farming operations, and access funding and markets. It is envisaged that the emerging farmers will go on to create at least one job each as a result of the initiative.

Young Women in agri can create jobs, ensure food security

The participation of women in the agricultural sector should be promoted, in order to create much-needed employment opportunities and ensure food security.

Women constituted between 60% and 80% of smallholder farmers, but made up only 15% to 20% of landholders in sub-Saharan Africa. Women’s incomes make a larger impact on food security than that of men.

“Studies have shown that every R1 in income earned by women achieved the same impact as R11 earned by men. Therefore, increasing the effective participation of women in commercial agriculture will significantly increase the potential to address food insecurity.”

Agri industries record far better growth than SA economy

According to Statistics South Africa, South Africa’s GDP was
-3,2% in the first quarter of 2019. Manufacturing production and sales data released earlier in August indicated that although the sector as a whole had declined, the food and beverages division continued to make the largest positive contribution to the country’s GDP.