In order to work on future sustainability for farming in South Africa, there needs to be more encouragement from educational institutions as well as farming communities themselves to create a desire in the younger generation to start a long-term career in the industry. It is also important to convey the broad opportunities that exist in the industry, from being a hands-on farmer, becoming a farm vet, to doing more admin related tasks. By simply looking through all the businesses on an SA farming directory, one can just see how many branches to the industry there actually are.
It is imperative to keep all these sectors filled with interested youth to continue contributing to the success of the industry. The following are ideas that may work in stimulating interest and growth within the agricultural industry to sustain the success of farming in South Africa.
The Role of Primary and Secondary Educational Institutions
Primary and secondary education has a huge impact on the choices made by the youth on their potential career paths. It is important that education around multiple industries are shared with children and teenagers in fun, creative ways in order to stimulate interest and allow our youth to explore all available opportunities for them, while simultaneously learning about the respective sectors.
When speaking specifically about the farming and agricultural industry, there are a plethora of ideas to educate children through practical elements such as, organising farm open days and outings, preparing practical school projects like planting a vegetable patch on the school grounds, or even using an SA farming directory or agricultural products directory for pupils to choose a business or product to complete a presentation on through research.
How Media can Play a Role in Reconnecting with Farming
Today’s society and media often neglects to make the connection of produce to farmers, all the amazing food products which we receive from South African farmers are simply not acknowledged or marketed by recognizing the practices behind them. Broad initiatives and ideas to reconnect the practice of farming with the produce that can be bought from the shops will help educate the youth on the many opportunities available to them in the farming industry, as well as to recognise the important role of competent farmers in larger spectrum, on a global level to feed the growing population of the world.
Using Technology and Modern Agriculture to Interest the Youth
Another effective way of stimulating broader interest within the younger generation is to increase the development of smart technology on our farms. By opening up new exciting opportunities to integrate modern, smart solutions into the practice of farming, more of our youth will become interested in the field due to their knowledge and appeal to technology and modernity. Emerging smart farms using sensor technology, automation, and IoT, will broaden the career opportunities as well as reignite the general interest in the industry. By opening up the youth to the plethora of ideas and opportunities offered through technology within the farming and agricultural industry, a wider demand for education and training in the sector will be created.
The farming community in South Africa needs to embrace the idea of growing and inspiring the youth to become our next generation farmers in order to create sustainability. For up-to-date news and business information on farming, be sure to visit AgriFoodSA, agricultural products and services directory, to stay connected.