Officials at the Motheo TVET College in Bloemfontein say they are confident that a new agricultural innovation will go a long way in addressing food security challenges.

They use a greenhouse tunnel to grow the crops while protecting them from extreme weather conditions such as intense heat, wind and excessive rain, as well as hailstones.

The project is an initiative of the Orange Knowledge Programme funded by the Netherlands, with Stellenbosch University as the catalyst of the project.

Motheo College has six staff members enrolled in the Farming Management programme. The training also entails the operation and maintenance of the greenhouse.

Mokgadi Ncube, one of the participating lecturers, says: “It’s also quite interesting for us, it helps us know what we didn’t know before, and it also helps us to be in touch with reality, because in books it’s a green environment, it’s a different environment as well.”

One of the students involved in the project is Tholo Molelekeng says, “When you get there you get to experience more practically, you get to touch the soil, you get to touch the plant, you get to be involved in everything that happens and it’s a different environment, so you learn different things. As much as they can be explained in books but then you do then practical and become more clearer,” says Molelekeng.