Agriculture in South Africa has a rich history and is one of sectors that contribute towards food security, employment and economic growth. To ensure adequate skills development in this sector, the government has invested in public colleges that offer quality learning programmes to prospective farmers. This article will look at some of these colleges.
Public Agricultural Colleges In South Africa
The agricultural sector in South Africa is one of the major contributors towards food security, employment and economic growth. Agriculture contributes directly or indirectly to a large proportion of South Africa’s economy (12% to 15% annually). It is also one of the largest employers, with approximately 2 million people working directly or indirectly within this sector, thus making it a significant contributor to job creation in our country. In addition, agriculture contributes significantly towards our export earnings as well.
To ensure adequate skills development in this sector, the government has invested in public colleges that provide quality learning programmes to prospective farmers. These are known as agricultural colleges and training centres.
The first agricultural college was established at Stellenbosch University in 1904 by Professor C J van Wylick with the aim of teaching students both theoretical and practical knowledge about farming. The first graduates received their degrees from the university in 1909, when they also received their diplomas from Agriculture South Africa (ASA).
There are a few public colleges which are accredited to offer learning programmes in agriculture and related fields. The following are some of the accredited colleges:
- Northlink TVET College
- Mopani South East FET College
- MSEFETC operates from two campuses namely Giyani campus and Tzaneen campus
The DUT offers NCV programmes in the agriculture field at three campuses namely Bellville, Goodwood and Tygerberg campus . All three campuses have dedicated agriculture learning areas for practical training. The college also offers a Higher Certificate in Agriculture at its Goodwood Campus Senior Secondary School facilities.