Agriculture organisation (AgriSA) has called on young people to join the farming sector in order to ensure food security for the country. AgriSA described it as a  concerning issue that farming is dominated by seniors.

It’s the second day of the AgriSA congress where they are looking for ways to entice the youth.

AgriSA says many young people don’t view agriculture as a smart career option.

CEO of AgriSA, Omri Van Zyl says, “The average age for a farmer in South Africa is about 57-years-old and that’s an international trend and not just in South Africa. People want to work in the cities, they want corporate jobs.”

AgriSA’s Christo van der Rheede says, “If we want to secure food for the next generation and we got a growing population, we will have to develop new farmers in South Africa. It’s critical that we empower new farmers especially black farmers entering the space.”

AgriSA admits entry into the sector remains difficult.

However, one young farmer defied the odds. Tshilidzi Matshidzula says, “Our farm is milking just under 800 cows, producing currently around 16 000 litres of milk per day. So it’s a full commercial farm. We employ about 15/16 permanent people and we bring quite a big number seasonal.”

The young farmer says obtaining funding and land to farm is difficult.

“Farming is a very demanding industry, agriculture as a whole is very demanding  industry, you need a lot of inputs, you need land, you need to have knowledge, you need to have access to finance, those were my biggest challenges,” says Matshidzula.

While AgriSA says it supports transforming the agricultural sector. The organisation is opposed to the expropriation of land without compensation.
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